Confident Teens

By Gael Lindenfield.
ISBN 0 00 7100620

Gael Lindenfield is the
author of several popular self-help books, including the best-selling Confident
Children. Her new book, subtitled How to Raise a Positive, Confident and Happy
Teenager, is directed at ordinary parents but will be equally useful for foster
carers and adoptive parents.

Having spent part of her own
childhood in care she is well aware that adolescence is often a particularly
stressful time for those separated from their family and a danger point for
placement breakdown.

The first part of the book is
organised round 21 golden rules, illustrated with many examples from her
personal and counselling experience. The second part poses common dilemmas that
face parents of teenagers and asks: “What would you do?” – more interesting if
you don’t cheat by turning to the back before you have worked out your own

The book is a storehouse of sensible
suggestions on how to handle emotional and behavioural problems in
non-confrontational ways and build confidence and self-esteem in parents and
young people.

If I had to pick out just one of the
21 rules it would be “Listen three times as much as you talk” – good advice for
social workers as well as parents.

Jackson is professorial fellow, Thomas Coram Research Unit and co-author, Looking
After Children (
HMSO, 1996)

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