“When No One Understands” is a book by Brad Sachs. It consists of letters between a psychiatrist and a teenager who had attempted suicide. The author only published his replies to the teenager, but that does not subtract anything from the effect of this book. In my opinion, this is an absolutely outstanding book. The author really has a way of looking at things that can be very helpful in dealing with a parent’s feelings about raising a teenager. (Obviously I can’t speak for what the teenagers think of this book, but I hope to find out!) It is an engaging read and it is quick to finish. I finished it in less than a day. I thought it had such an interesting perspective that my DH and I are attempting to share it with our two teenage sons. It’s helpful that the chapters are so short, because no matter how interesting the content is, how long can a parent expect to retain a teenager’s attention?
The author shared one really interesting point that has stuck in my mind for weeks now. In order for a teenager to become an adult, they have to give up being a child, and so, teenager’s are mourning the loss of their childhood. No wonder they are so often depressed or angry. I think that this one single point has really helped me to chill out towards my teenagers. (Of course, you’d have to ask them if they think it’s true that I’ve chilled out…I may be delusional…but I feel calmer).
After reading that book, I decided I wanted to see what else this author had to say. So I read “The Good Enough Teen”. I was not disappointed. It was another extremely well written and insightful book. (I may have to retract my assertion that there is no such thing as a parenting expert http://www.homemakerspensieve.com/2010/02/09/parenting-experts/ although this is one of the things I love about this author…he does not even remotely claim to be an expert). This book took quite a lot longer to read it, but it was well worth it. And I’m pretty sure that I will be perusing it’s pages again to glean information I may have missed the first time around. The really great thing about both of these books is that the author does not make you feel that anyone is to blame for the problems that families encounter during the teenage years. He just helps you to understand how the other party might be thinking and why they might be thinking the way they do.
If you want to read a portion of When No One Understands, you can go to the author’s webpage http://www.bradsachs.com/ . I haven’t had a chance to check out much of the website, but it looks like there might be some good stuff on there, too.
Oh, by the way, I didn’t get paid to write this review. These are just really good books that maybe will help someone else.