I have to be upfront with all of you: I spend a lot of my day talking with teens about their behavior online-sites like myspace, Facebook, and such-so it feels pretty strange (but exciting) to now find myself a part of the Gather book community.Â
I’ve been working with teenagers for more than fifteen years, and in that time, I’ve seen almost every kind of trouble that kids can get into (with the rate that technology is changing these days, it’s pretty hard to say that I’ve seen everything).Â For many years, I worked with troubled kids from all over the country at Spring Creek Lodge (http://www.springcreeklodge.com/) and today I work with them at Elk Mountain Academy (http://www.elkmountainacademy.org/).Â The teens that I’ve dealt with at these schools and in my own private practice are some of the nation’s toughest in every sense of the word, but that doesn’t mean that their problems are all that different from most kids.Â
No matter where I am or whom I’m talking to, I hear stories of kids who are having the different versions of the same problems.Â I hear stories from parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, teachers, family friends, and the kids themselves about struggling with drinking, drugs, sex, and violence brought on by any number of reasons.Â I hear stories of parents who can no longer communicate with their kids, and as a result they feel unable to help.Â Shut out of their child’s life they feel helpless, relegated to the sidelines without a clue of how to communicate and right the wrongs of the past.Â
Over my years working with teens, I’ve heard these same sorts of stories over and over again, and while the particulars always vary, the results never do. These stories are what led me to write The Teen Whisperer.Â I want people to be able to connect with their kids and understand the reasons why their teens act out.Â To most of us, teens seem to be a constantly evolving set of contradictions (okay let’s be honest they seem that way because they are, but that’s what makes them teens).Â My goal with this book is to help parents decipher that code of contradiction.Â For me, helping kids is not just about addressing the kids’ issues; it’s also about activating the parents and helping them to engage kids on their level, so that setting the table for dinner isn’t always about preparing for a fight.Â
I’m a pretty straight talker, and when I’m not helping teens I’m either wrestling cattle on my ranch or wrestling with my own teens at home which means that my skin is definitely thick.Â If you have questions, comments, concerns, complaints, or all of the above with anything I write here, I encourage you to write it all down here in the comments section, and I’ll do my best to respond.Â If you’re worried about offending me with your stories, there’s no need.Â I work with teenagers all day, so there’s not a whole lot anyone can say that’s shocking anymore.