- Apr, 1991 Issue
Title: Decoding Your Teenager
(How to understand each other during the turbulent years)
Author: Michael DeSisto
Publisher: William Morrow & Co.: New York: 1991
Michael DeSisto founded one
of the original Special Purpose schools. The DeSisto program was started
in 1967, and his school in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, was founded in
1978. This makes him one of the early experimenters in Special Purpose
schools and programs along with Mel Wasserman of CEDU Education, Steve
Cawdry of Spring Creek Community School, Larry Dean Olsen of Anasazi,
and Larry Wells of Wilderness Conquest, to name a few.
This book is written for parents
especially, and is a summery of more than 25 years of Michael DeSisto's
experience in working with teenagers with problems. It is easy to read,
and is packed with observations as to why these teenagers act as they
do, and tips on how to deal with various behaviors. Do you want to know
what kind of teenager you have? Chapter three outlines ten types, along
with identifying behaviors and the challenge the parent must meet.
The basic key to all problems,
of course, is improving communication, so Chapter four outlines "Seven
Secrets of Successful Communication" parents can use.
Part II talks more about each
of the ten types: what is probably going on in the child's head, and
what a parent can do to break through. Do you have a Weird Dresser?
He suggests what the child is saying, and what the parent should do
about it. The same is done for the Relationship Addict, the Victim,
the Clam, and six other types. Much of the material I found familiar,
but I still learned a lot from reading this book.
Michael DeSisto just completed
a 12 city tour to promote his book, so it is likely to be available
through your local book store. Otherwise you could order it from the
publisher, or from the DeSisto School, 413-298-3776.
© 1991, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without
prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author
attribution accompanies the copy.)