Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager, Revised and Updated

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  • a great starter book for parents deeply interested in understanding their teenagers and grooming them for success in life both leading up to and after college
  • having been published more than a decade ago gives the book a somewhat dated feel
  • many passages nevertheless still feel fresh and relevant and applicable to 2010s teens

Don your armor and brandish your weapon, as you’re gearing up for that ultimate bout in parenting warfare – surviving the Battle of the Modern-Day Teenager. No other teen parenting book’s title more cleverly or accurately sums up the duality of handling an adolescent as does that of Anthony Wolf’s volume here, and Get Out of My Life wastes no time in getting into the nitty gritty of addressing the haphazard bent of adolescent behavior. It’s ideal first read for parents of teens whom Princeton would love, if only there were a way to prune out their bad attitudes.

This is an older volume, first published in 2002, and many of Wolf’s assertions require the perspective of a more compassionate, science-based approach that is de rigeur of today’s teen parenting bookshelves. But several sections remain as relevant as ever, like “The Bliss of the Baby Self,” in which Wolf expertly clarifies the root of teen wackiness as a war within the adolescents themselves between their infancy and their forthcoming adulthood.

Get Out of My Life does linger a bit too long on the standard topics of sex and drugs and drinking, but its grasp of the intricacies of conflict and communication still firmly recommend the book to frazzled yet hopeful moms and dads.