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Posted February 1, 2005

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By: Scott P. Sells
Savannah, Georgia
St. Martin's Press, NY, NY

Reviewed by: Anita Biase

Is your family life in chaos because of a rebellious teenager? You are not alone. Many families are dealing with teens with serious behavior problems. If you need help coping, Scott Sells provides a road map for parents of troubled teens in his book Parenting Your Out-Of-Control Teenager: 7 Steps to Reestablish Authority and Reclaim Love. Dr. Sells provides seven steps to positive, permanent change for you and your teenager.

The author describes many of the underlying causes of teen misbehavior, how to make a contract without loopholes, ways to prevent the problems from recurring in the future, how and when to enlist outside help and how to mend the rifts in your family unit. If you want to learn how to rein-in your out-of-control teenager, follow the step-by-step lessons and workbook exercises offered in the book.

In this book, the author states he believes that almost every teenager rebels and flaunts authority by talking back to parents, staying out too late at night and generally ignoring household rules. However in many cases, teens carry their rebelliousness too far and substance abuse, truancy, and threats of suicide put the teen's future in peril and disrupts the family unit. Parents seek help and their search often yields yards of pat solutions and well-intentioned, but confusing advice.

Dr. Sells outlines a plan of attack to help solve many possible scenarios that a parent might confront when raising a teenager, as well as a list of consequences for each. He asserts that these interventions and consequences will help stop the rebellious and negative behaviors, but it is up to you, the parent, to follow his recommendations. The author warns that if the methods in the book don't work, it is time to seek outside help. Dr. Sells' fundamental belief is that parents are still the biggest influence in a child's life, but times have changed and the old rules of parenting are obsolete and must also change.

The author also describes the possible roadblocks parents may encounter and suggests detours for each one. I recommend this book to parents, counselors and therapists. Dr. Sells provides insight, understanding and practical suggestions for dealing with real-life problems while providing the family with the key to a better future.

About the Author:
[Dr. Scott P. Sells is Associate Professor of Social Work at Savannah State University and clinical director of the Savannah Family Institute in Georgia. He is also the author of “Treating the Tough Adolescent: A Family-Based, Step-by Step Guide.” “Parenting Your Out-Of-Control Teenager: 7 Steps To Reestablish Authority and Reclaim Love” was published in October, 2002. To purchase this book through simply click the Amazon link on and search their site with this ISBN: 0312303017, number.]

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Copyright © 2005, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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