In Skip the Drama, Practical, Get-Ahead Strategies to Survive Your Daughter’s Teenage Years, Dr Hughes is well qualified to give expert advice. She is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology and has a PhD in child and adolescent anxiety disorders. Sarah is also the founder of “Think” with ten years’ experience in counselling
Sarah has designed this book for the maximum ease of use. There are thirteen chapters and a few final thoughts. Each chapter, rather than general conversation, deals with a specific issue. This means that you can instantly access information on the issue that is concerning you. It also means that you don’t have to read the book from cover to cover (although there is a great deal of wisdom imparted.)
The first chapter is “When your daughter’s selfish.” To begin the chapter, the author discusses some of the aspects of this trait, and how frustrating they can be. She uses a real case to show how this behaviour might look. Using latest research, she explains that the last part of the brain to develop, the pre-frontal cortex, plays a role in helping to understand the perspective of other people. Using a diagram, and scientific experiment, we see results that support that theory. To round off the chapter, Sarah explains how to live and deal with this time. Stop saying yes to selfish requests and teach consideration. You also need to “Start putting your needs on the table in a practical way”. Negotiate and compromise when possible.
Another chapter that is hugely relevant is related to excessive phone use. Sarah writes some pointers for negotiating phone times with your teenager. Her strategies include a conversation you should have and reasonable times for teenagers to be on the phone. She also includes the names of phone monitoring apps you can give to your child to help monitor her own usage. The chapter concludes with “The Important Bits.” These are quick reference dot points which outline steps to take for success in dealing with this issue.
Teenage depression is a real thing and the author discusses why some teenagers develop depression. Stress, family conflict, bullying, and body image are some of the factors to be considered. Indicators of depression are given, and strategies to help are listed. Although it can be trying, validation, empathy and understanding her will help most. To do this without buying in to her negativity is hard, but encouraging mood boosting activities either social, or pleasant, can help, while sticking to consequences is important.
There is such a wealth of practical information in this book. For people who have tried many things, there are reminders and helpful ideas to visit and revisit. This is a book with easy to access help for challenging behaviours of girls. The advice is given from professional and personal viewpoint and will be helpful to all concerned.
|Author||Dr Sarah Hughes|