Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Untangled: Reads Like a Chat with an Experienced Mom-Friend

The description of Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood by Dr. Lisa Damour caught my attention immediately since I do have a teenage daughter. I was not disappointed!

In Untangled, Dr. Damour emphasizes that separation is a normal and vital part of adolescent development and the road to adulthood. However, how parents choose to deal with these issues is important to long-term relational health. Dr. Damour outlines what parents can expect as their daughters transverse their journey in seven chapters, or transitions, entitled Parting with Childhood, Joining a New Tribe, Harnessing Emotions, Contending with Adult Authority, Planning for the Future, Entering the Romantic World, and Caring for Herself. The content of each chapter deals with topics that are pertinent to teens as they age with the later chapters dealing with weightier issues. Although not quite yet to some of the later chapters, I frequently found myself nodding in agreement concerning situations we've experienced or thinking that's why this or that happens.

While Dr. Damour is a highly qualified psychotherapist and brings with her research and insight from her practice at the Laurel School for Girls, reading Untangled feels like sitting down to talk with a good friend who journeyed farther down the path than you. As she is a parent herself as well as a practitioner, her writing and the ideas shared are intensely practical and have passed the "real life" test in addition to the ivory tower. I would caution that Untangled is from a secular viewpoint and thus shares about topics such as sex and substance abuse. I found Damour's approach fair and appropriate and found much that is applicable.

This book is highly recommended for parents of pre-teen or tween girls as well as teenagers. Reading the book when your daughter is 10 or 11 is ideal so that you are prepared when those first transitions begin. If your daughter is past those first transitions, you still need to read Untangled to help accompany you along the remainder of your journey.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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