Childhood Disorders

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
12 and HoldingA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Lethal InheritanceA Mother's Courage: Talking Back to AutismA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Special EducationA Toss Of The DiceA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainABC of Eating DisordersADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeADHD Grown UpADHD in the Schools: Assessment and Intervention StrategiesADHD NationAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAlpha GirlsAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAsperger Syndrome and Your ChildAsperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and IdentityAsperger's and GirlsAssessment of Childhood DisordersAttention Deficit DisorderAttention-Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderAutism - The Eighth Colour of the RainbowAutism and MeAutism's False ProphetsAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBeen There, Done That? DO THIS!Before I DieBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBipolar ChildrenBipolar Disorder in Childhood and Early AdolescenceBipolar DisordersBipolar KidsBlackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive DevelopmentBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoy AloneBrain-Based Therapy with Children and AdolescentsBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingBullying PreventionBut I Love HimCan't Eat, Won't EatCaring for a Child with AutismCatalystChild and Adolescent PsychiatryChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChild and Adolescent PsychopathologyChild NeuropsychologyChild Well-BeingChildren and SexualityChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren with Sexual Behavior ProblemsChildren, Sexuality and SexualizationChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneCommunication Issues In Autism And Asperger SyndromeConcepts of NormalityConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinConsuming KidsContesting ChildhoodCount Us InCrackedCrossesCutCyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy TeensDamageDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDisconnected KidsDoing SchoolDon't Bother Me Mom--I'm Learning!Don't Pick On MeDying to Be ThinEarly Intervention Programs and PoliciesEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismEight Stories UpElijah's CupEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEpilepticEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEvery Girl Tells a StoryExiting NirvanaExploiting ChildhoodEye ContactFacing BipolarFamily HistoryFast GirlsForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillFrictionGirl CultureGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlhoodGirlWiseHandbook of Evidence-Based Therapies for Children and AdolescentsHandbook of Preschool Mental HealthHealing ADDHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Hyperactive KidsHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHelping Students Overcome Depression and AnxietyHelping Teens Who CutHollow KidsHope's BoyHow Infants Know MindsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHurry Down SunshineI Am Not Joey PigzaIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIf Your Adolescent Has an Eating DisorderIn the Company of CraziesIncorporating Social Goals in the ClassroomIntegrated YogaIntrusive ParentingIssues for Families, Schools and CommunitiesJake RileyJoey Pigza Loses ControlJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKim: Empty InsideLearning and Behavior Problems in Asperger SyndromeLearning Disorders and Disorders of the Self in Children and AdolescentsLearning Outside the Lines Let Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLook Me in the EyeLoserLove and SexLove That DogMad at SchoolMaking ADD WorkMaking American BoysManicMastering Anger and AggressionMaverick MindMedicating ChildrenMind FieldsMind to MindMommy I'm Still in HereMore Than a LabelMy Flesh and BloodMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNew Look at ADHD: Inhibition, Time, and Self-ControlNo Child Left DifferentNo Two AlikeNon-Drug Treatments for ADHDNot Much Just Chillin'NurtureShockOdd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the WoodsOvercoming ADHDOvercoming School AnxietyParenting a Child Who Has Intense EmotionsParenting Children With ADHDParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeople with HyperactivityPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPlease Don't Label My ChildPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Problem GirlsPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy with Children and AdolescentsPurgeRaising a Moody ChildRaising BlazeRaising Generation RxRaising Resilient ChildrenReady or Not, Here Life ComesReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRemembering Our ChildhoodResilience in ChildrenRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRitalin NationRunning on RitalinRunning with ScissorsRutter's Child and Adolescent PsychiatrySeeing EzraSex and the American TeenagerSex, Therapy, and KidsSexting and Young PeopleSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShort Term 12Should I Medicate My Child?SmashedSnapshots of AutismSongs Without WordsSophie Spikey Has a Very Big ProblemSpeakStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStraight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for KidsStraight Talk about Psychological Testing for KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrange SonStudent DepressionSuicidal Behavior in Children and AdolescentsSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTemple GrandinThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe Bipolar ChildThe Boy Who Loved Too MuchThe Boy Who Loved WindowsThe Boy Who Was Raised as a DogThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully Action GuideThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Burn JournalsThe Color of AbsenceThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Evolution of ChildhoodThe Explosive ChildThe Eyes of van GoghThe Fasting GirlThe Field of the DogsThe Flight of a DoveThe Hidden Gifts of the Introverted ChildThe Horse BoyThe Identity TrapThe Inner World of a Suicidal YouthThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Kindness of StrangersThe Last Normal ChildThe Little MonsterThe Medicated ChildThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Perversion of YouthThe Philosophy of AutismThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Ride TogetherThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Science of ADHDThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Survival Guide for Kids With LD*The Unhappy ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouThings Tom LikesThrough the Glass WallThumbsuckerTotally WiredTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreating ADHD and Comorbid DisordersTreatment of Childhood DisordersTwistedUnder the Wolf, Under the DogUnhappy TeenagersUnstrange MindsWastedWe've Got IssuesWeather Reports from the Autism FrontWhat about the KidsWhat in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?What Works for Whom?What Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?When Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhose America?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWill's ChoiceWinnicott On the ChildWorried All the TimeYou Hear MeYoung Minds in Social WorldsYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?

Related Topics
Parenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerReview - Parenting Your Out-Of-Control Teenager
7 Steps to Reestablish Authority and Reclaim Love
by Scott Sells
St. Martin's Press, 2001
Review by Fred Ashmore
Jun 10th 2002 (Volume 6, Issue 24)

This book shows on the front of the dust cover “7 steps to re-establish authority and reclaim love” and all my prejudices went off at once.  Was this to be another set of facile head games?  Why 7 steps, for goodness’ sake?  Why not 5 or 13 or 6½?  But I opened up and got reading, as a docile reviewer should.

I chose this book from a list offered by our learned editor, on the basis that we have four teenagers in our house.  (Well, one of them is twelve but she shows teen symptoms already, and another is 22 but she retains many of them).  I count my self reasonably experienced.  At times I even think myself quite skilful at dealing with them.  They are all still at home, generally pretty cheerful, progressing in their lives amid thrills and spills.  But Sells has a lot to teach me, and I wish I’d had this book years ago. 

As a family we went through some rough periods, and I replayed them in my head as I read this.  I replayed them, and I watched my self making mistakes, missing opportunities – and doing quite a lot right as well, thank goodness.   I think that the guidance I read here would have helped us reduce the scale of those tough times, helped us to keep things at the level of tiffs instead of confrontations and still maintain sensible behavior on both sides.  Maybe one of our kids who went through some very difficult periods would have been spared a lot of pain if we’d been more skilful, and I think this book might have helped us be more skilful.

I laughed like hell when I read Sells’ description of age regression.  Basically, the longer you stay in face to face confrontation with your teen, the younger you get in your emotional state …… I certainly remember that now.  I read about button pushing and how to deal with it, and nodded sagely – while recalling all the time I let my buttons be pushed.  I read his suggestions on countering teenager aces, and nodded, thinking, “Yes, we did that and it worked, and we didn’t do that and it didn’t work.”

“Teenager aces?” you ask.  They’re a set of behaviors of ascending vigor that are designed (maybe not consciously, but certainly skillfully) to reduce a parent to – compliance?  Nervous wreck?  A state of uncontrolled emotional turmoil?  One or all of these.  Here’s the list, and I bet it has a grisly familiarity to any parent of a teenager.

#1        Disrespect

#2        Truancy or failing grades

#3        Running away

#4        Teen pregnancy or sexual promiscuity

#5        Alcohol or drug abuse

#6        Threats or acts of violence

#7        Threats of suicide

We had the lot, bar number 7.  We handled them more or less, we went through a great deal of pain and we came out the other side, but ….. I recall years ago reading a book called “Baby Taming” which described the early years in semi-military terms, and certainly the metaphors of conflict spring to mind when one reads about the teenager aces.  I know we could have done better!

Lets get down to the nuts and bolts.  You can tell that I think this is a valuable book for any parent.  What’s in it for you?  Here’s a list of chapter headings.

1        Understanding why your teen is out of control

2        Writing an ironclad contract

3        Troubleshooting – how to think two steps ahead of your teenager

4        Button pushing – why your teen wins arguments

5        Stopping your teenagers seven aces

6        There is strength in numbers

7        Reclaiming love between you and your teenager

8        What to do if these steps fail

Most of the content seems to me very sensible, clear, suggestions rather than prescriptions.  There are clear pointers to when the parent would do well to bring in skilled outside help, and I reckon most of these pointers are accurate.

Who’s it for?  Parents – or others in responsible charge of teenagers in some way.  But basically parents.  It might be helpful for a general counselor, and certainly Dr Sells strongly suggests that the handling of serious out-of-control teen problems requires special skills and knowledge, with which I agree.

Reservations?  I have a couple.  First, this seems to be conceived for an American small town family.  Some of the suggestions on enlisting neighbors might not work in a European social context, or even in a big city,  I suspect.  But who knows?  I never thought of many of them, and never tried them, and maybe, just maybe …..

Second, I have some experience of the alcohol and drugs recovery methods.  I think that the chapter on these issues is relatively weak though it does have some great suggestions on how to deal with the behavior as it affects the home.  Dr Sells might find it worth reading a bit more widely before the second edition – because I bet there’s going to be one, and misuse of alcohol and drugs is still going to be there as a problem.

A worthwhile book, full of things I was glad to learn and wished I’d learned earlier.


© 2002 Fred Ashmore


Fred Ashmore is still learning about his teenagers and does not intend to show them this book.


Welcome to Metapsychology. We feature over 8200 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716