Cover image for The 7 best things (smart) teens do
The 7 best things (smart) teens do
Friel, John C., 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Deerfield Beach, FL : Health Communications, [2000]

Physical Description:
xviii, 284 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
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Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
BF724.3.S9 F75 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In The Seven Worst Things Good Parents Do , therapists John and Linda Friel gave parents an easy-to-understand guide to overcome the seven worst mistakes even good parents make while raising children. Now they've written a book for teens based on the same formula: it includes the seven worst things even smart-and outwardly successful-teens do, and shows teens how they can change these behaviors and assure their success in life as they grow towards adulthood.

This book was written expressly for teenagers as a unique roadmap into adulthood. It was designed to stimulate the brain as well as the heart because teenagers who listen to both can eventually negotiate adolescence successfully. It will appeal to teenagers who like to think, wonder, question and challenge, as well as to teenagers who feel that they haven't quite figured out this "life" thing.

The Friels show teens the seven things they need to do in order to overcome common roadblocks they face or will face. These are:

Become competent-don't expect to have self-esteem without becoming competent

Master your feelings-don't let your feelings run the show

Break the silence-don't silently scream instead of making yourself known

Get healthy power-don't avoid learning about power

Face the serious stuff-don't hide the really important things you're experiencing

Find an identity-don't avoid the struggle to find yourself

Learn to stake out the extremes-don't live only in the extremes.

Written in clear, straightforward language and including many interesting and colorful story interludes, this book is an easy-to-use, powerful tool for all teens.

Author Notes

John C. Friel is a full time practicing psychologists in the Minneapolis/St. Paul suburbs where he offers individual, couple and family therapy groups. He is an international speaker and trainer.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Although this book contains a wealth of information and advice, it is not well organized. The first chapter leaves readers wondering when the authors are ever going to get to the point as they ramble on with anecdotes, jokes, and stories about criminals or people who are angry or never grew up. They do get there in Part II, where they finally identify the seven "things": including mastering feelings, learning how to make things happen, and finding an identity. All are worthy life skills, and the authors handle them well, generally speaking. However, they have opted for a kind of chattiness that can be distracting, and that at times is just plain silly (as in the parable of the two dogs, Sam and Abby, who not only know how to operate a laptop, but also hold philosophical discussions with one another). Nevertheless, the information is worthwhile, and if teens are motivated to read it, they just might find what they need to know to ease their life's journey.-Marilyn Heath, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Part IThe Agony and theEcstasy, the Powerand the GloryThe Parrot, the Appalachian Science Student, the Suburban Lawyer, the Media Rep, the Murderers and the Vandal, and the Grace in South Central L.A.No plan is perfect. At any time we may have to abandon ship and jump into the unknown.ùJoan Borysenko, A Woman's Journey to God: Finding the Feminine Path, 1999Out of Tension and Conflict, RespectThe Parrot and the Appalachian Science StudentA young man gets on a crosstown bus. He has spiked, multicolored hair that's green, purple and orange. His clothes are a tattered mix of leather rags. His legs are bare, and he's without shoes. His entire face and body are riddled with pierced jewelry, and his earrings are big, bright feathers. He sits down in the only vacant seat, directly across from an old man who just glares at him for the next ten miles. Finally, the young man becomes self-conscious and barks at the old man, "What are you looking at! Didn't you ever do anything wild when you were young?" Without missing a beat, the old man replies, "Yeah. Back when I was young and in the Navy, I got drunk in Singapore and had sex with a parrot. I thought maybe you were my son." This joke has been circulating on the Internet for years, and is, in fact, so old and so corny that we should be embarrassed to pass it on to you. We aren't, however, because on further reflection it becomes obvious that we could design an entire university course based on sorting out the infinite levels of developmental and family dynamics contained within this fascinating little story. Are there universal themes contained in this tale? Do all older adults feel this way about younger adults? Could there be a faint hint of warmth and playfulness in the old man's comment? If the younger man chooses to respond to the old man's sarcastic comment as if it might contain bits of warmth rather than just hostility, could the two men develop a friendship? Could their balanced confrontationùtheir squaring off as they didùallow them to attain a level of intimacy that is unimaginable had both of them sat silently in discomfort and contempt for each other? How is this scenario nearly identical to the poignant 1950s dynamic between Homer Hickam Jr. and his West Virginia coal-mining father in the autobiographical film October Sky? In that movie, the father remained angry, disappointed and distant for almost too long as his high school son, with equal stubbornness, pursued his seemingly impossible dream of building a successful model rocket and qualifying for the national science fair. Is there wisdom in humor, or only anger and contempt? Is strong conflict a key ingredient to the kind of deep relationships for which we all long? Well, as we just said, it would be a piece of cake to design an entire university course around the themes and dynamics contained within this corny tale.The Suburban Lawyer"I think there ought to be a place to send kids when they're thirteenùa holdi Excerpted from The Seven Best Things Smart Teens Do by John C. Friel, Linda D. Friel, John Friel All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Preface: In the Beginningp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Why You Should Read This Bookp. xvii
Part I The Agony and the Ecstasy, the Power and the Glory
1. The Parrot, the Appalachian Science Student, the Suburban Lawyer, the Media Rep, the Murderers and the Vandal, and the Grace in South Central L.A.p. 3
2. Thumb Your Nose at Gravityp. 17
3. The Cockapoo and the Labradorp. 29
Part II The Seven Best Things
4. Become Competent: You Can't Get Self-Esteem from Talking to Yourself in Front of the Mirror or Being Smothered with Praisep. 37
5. Master Your Feelings: Don't Let the Tail Wag the Dogp. 59
6. Break the Silence: It Takes So Much Energy to Silently Screamp. 83
7. Get Healthy Power: Learn to Respectfully Make Things Happenp. 105
8. Face the Serious Stuff: Some Things Are Too Big to Keep Buriedp. 127
9. Find an Identity: From Accepting Without Question to Discovering Your Own Pathp. 149
10. Start Learning to Stake Out the Extremes: It's the Universal Skillp. 173
11. The Labrador and the Cockapoop. 195
Part III Some Tips
12. Becoming Competentp. 209
13. Mastering Feelingsp. 215
14. Breaking the Silencep. 223
15. Getting Healthy Powerp. 229
16. Facing the Serious Stuffp. 237
17. Finding an Identityp. 249
18. Staking Out the Extremesp. 255
Part IV Bringing It All Back Home
19. And in the Endp. 263
Appendix Why Seven?p. 267
Endnotesp. 271
Bibliographyp. 275