Cover image for Teenagers learn what they live : parenting to inspire integrity & independence
Teenagers learn what they live : parenting to inspire integrity & independence
Nolte, Dorothy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Workman Pub., [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 340 pages ; 18 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ755.8 .N625 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Parenting
HQ755.8 .N625 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Parenting by example. Using the simple, powerful message that turned Children Learn What They Live into an international bestseller with over 1.5 million copies in print, Drs. Dorothy Law Nolte and Rachel Harris bring their unique perspective to families with adolescents.

Structured, like the first book, around an inspirational poem, Teenagers Learn What They Live addresses the turbulent teenage years, when a stew of hormones, pressures, and temptations makes for such extreme challenges for parents and children. Teenagers addresses popularity and peer pressure ("If teenagers live with rejection, they learn to feel lost"); the responsibilities of maturity ("If teenagers live with too many rules, they learn how to get around them./ If teenagers live with too few rules, they learn to ignore the needs of others"); body image and the allure of cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol ("If teenagers live with healthy habits, they learn to be kind to their bodies"). Central to the book are ways for parents to communicate with their teenage children-including how to deal with being "tuned out" and when to start the conversation again-and how to strike the right balance between holding on and accepting a teen's growing independence. Hundreds of examples of parent-child interactions cover everything from the all-night graduation party to problems of sexual identity, providing great guidance as well as effective conversation starters.

Author Notes

Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D. is a lifelong teacher and lecturer on family life education
Rachel Harris, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist with post-graduate training in family therapy

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This follow-up to Children Learn What They Live (1998) offers practical advice based on the fact that youth pay more attention to what parents do than what they say. For example, if teens live with pressures they witness in their parents' lives, they will be stressed with the pressures of their own lives. Nolte and Harris suggest that parents need to model balance in what they do to teach the same to their teens; if teens live with openness, trust, discipline, and other virtues, they will learn to develop those virtues. Nolte and Harris use case studies of families to illustrate how to handle challenges, including rules, discipline, sex, grades, health, and other issues, in balancing the increasing independence of teens even as they continue to need the guidance of their parents. This helpful resource also provides advice on evaluating parent-child relationships and how to model the kind of behavior parents would like their teens to develop. --Vanessa Bush

Publisher's Weekly Review

Following up on their first parenting manual (Children Learn What They Live) Nolte, a teacher, and Harris, a psychotherapist, here turn their attention to the difficult years of adolescence. Like the earlier work, each chapter is inspired by a line in a poem written by Nolte ("If teenagers live with failure they learn to give up"; "If teenagers live with too many rules, they learn to get around them"). The same philosophy-that teens, as well as children, are guided more by what parents do than by what they say-also holds sway here. Many examples of how a good parent-child relationship fostered in the early years will help teens better navigate the tricky waters of adolescence are provided. According to the authors, parents should set standards of behavior but recognize that they cannot and should not always control the behavior of their children. Decision-making is also an activity that teens need to learn by trial and error. When Morgan decided to skip her senior year of high school and go to college under an early admission program, her parents, although against the plan, chose not to overprotect their daughter. After a miserable freshman year, Morgan, who was academically but not socially prepared for college, learned from her mistake and also profited from the many supportive telephone conversations she had with her parents during this difficult time. A practical and inspirational guide for parents. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Teenagers Learn What They Live, the poemp. vi
Introductionp. viii
If teenagers live with pressure, they learn to be stressedp. 1
If teenagers live with failure, they learn to give upp. 27
If teenagers live with rejection, they learn to feel lostp. 44
If teenagers live with too many rules, they learn to get around themp. 67
If teenagers live with too few rules, they learn to ignore the needs of othersp. 90
If teenagers live with broken promises, they learn to be disappointedp. 107
If teenagers live with respect, they learn to honor othersp. 122
If teenagers live with trust, they learn to tell the truthp. 144
If teenagers live with openness, they learn to discover themselvesp. 166
If teenagers live with natural consequences, they learn to be accountablep. 187
If teenagers live with responsibility, they learn to be self-reliantp. 209
If teenagers live with healthy habits, they learn to be kind to their bodiesp. 227
If teenagers live with support, they learn to feel good about themselvesp. 256
If teenagers live with creativity, they learn to share who they arep. 279
If teenagers live with caring attention, they learn how to lovep. 301
If teenagers live with positive expectations, they learn to help build a better worldp. 322