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Publisher's Summary

A groundbreaking, research-based guide that sheds new light on why young people make dangerous choices - and offers solutions that work.

Texting while driving. Binge drinking. Bullying. Unprotected sex. There are plenty of reasons for parents to worry about getting a late-night call about their teen. But most of the advice parents and educators hear about teens is outdated and unscientific - and simply doesn't work.

Acclaimed adolescent psychiatrist and educator Jess Shatkin brings more than two decades' worth of research and clinical experience to the subject, along with cutting-edge findings from brain science, evolutionary psychology, game theory, and other disciplines - plus a widely curious mind and the perspective of a concerned dad himself.

Using science and stories, fresh analogies, clinical anecdotes, and research-based observations, Shatkin explains:

  • Why "scared straight", adult logic, and draconian punishment don't work.
  • Why the teen brain is "born to be wild" - shaped by evolution to explore and take risks.
  • The surprising role of brain development, hormones, peer pressure, screen time, and other key factors.
  • What parents and teachers can do - in everyday interactions, teachable moments, and specially chosen activities and outings - to work with teens' need for risk, rewards, and social acceptance, not against it.

©2017 Jess Shatkin (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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A Must Have for Parents, Teachers, Counselors!!!

Dr. Jess Shatkin has achieved something rare in the writing of this book, a balance between sharing academic and applied research and making it useable and accessible to all readers. This book has the potential to be a game changer for entire communities, if they are willing to do the work, ask the hard questions, and challenge the status quo. Dr. Shatkin's willingness to share authentically about his own experiences as a teen, parent and helping professional, draw the reader in, make poignant examples, and provide a relatability that shares truth, both about teen perspectives and those concerns we have as adults. I would put this book on the must read list for schools, health agencies, parenting groups, and civic leaders. This will be a game changer, and it takes something to digest the truth, and then go to work on making the world a better and safer place for our children and teens. Get it, read it, and then get to work making meaningful changes, for our kids and teens can't wait, because their future is NOW!!!