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The Available Parent
Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens
Dr. John Duffy
ISBN: 9781573446570
Foreword by Dr. Thomas Phelan
Book (Paperback)
Viva Editions
$15.95
5 1/2 x 8 1/4
252 pages
May 10, 2011


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"...a healthy dose of optimism and lots of practical suggestions." —Publishers Weekly

"Every parent of a child or teen will benefit from keeping this wise book on their night stand. It's likely they will want it handy to read over and over again." —Judy Ford, author of Every Day Love: The Delicate Art of Caring for Each Other and Wonderful Ways to Love a Child

"Dr. Duffy provides a clear, straightforward, doable answer for parents: Stay in touch! Research clearly shows that an open, friendly parent-teen relationship is a major factor in protecting kids from harm. The age-old question for parents of teens has always been: ‘How do I relate to these new kids of mine—how should I manage them?’ The Available Parent provides a clear blueprint for a practical and effective response: Manage the problems you have to, but above all else, stay in touch!" —Dr. Thomas W. Phelan, author of 1-2-3 Magic and Surviving Your Adolescents

*Number one on Cyrus Webb's list of "Books Every Man Should Read"

Teenagers are left feeling unheard and misunderstood, and parents are left feeling bewildered by the changes in their child at adolescence and their sudden lack of effectiveness as parents. The parent has become unavailable, the teen responds in kind, and a negative, often destructive cycle of communication begins. Well, the truth of the matter is, you can physically be right next to someone and still not really be available to them. If you need them to be something they’re not, if you are harsh, criticizing and judging, if your anxiety is center stage, then you are not truly available.

The available parent of a teenager is open to discussion, offering advice and problem-solving, but not insisting on it. He allows his child to make some mistakes, setting limits, primarily where health and safety are concerned. He never lectures – he is available but not controlling. The available parent is self-aware, and keeps his own emotions in check when dealing with his teen. He is unconditionally loving and accepting, and open to new and different ways of thinking. As such, he is neither cruel nor dismissive, ever.

John Duffy is a clinical psychologist and certified life coach with a thriving private practice. In addition to clinical work, Duffy also consults with individuals, groups, and corporations. Dr. Duffy's highly satisfied clients include Sears, Allstate, General Electric, Household Financial, Exxon Mobil, Accenture, Bank of America, and Hewitt Associates. He lives in Chicago.
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