Holding On While Letting Go
Parenting Your Child Through the Four Freedoms of Adolescence
by Carl Pickhardt
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Pub Date 04 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 07 Sep 2023
HCI Books, Health Communications Inc
Harvard-trained psychologist and Psychology Today parenting expert Carl Pickhardt gives parents an eye-opening look at what to expect on rocky road of middle school and high school, revealing the Four Freedoms that every child must master to become a healthy adult—and how parents can adapt, encourage, and grow themselves during these tumultuous times.
Parenting a teenager is not for the faint of heart. It is during these roller-coaster years that frustrated parents find themselves at their wits’ end, barely even recognizing their offspring as they move through the teen years. Carl Pickhardt, Harvard-trained psychologist and the voice of reason behind Psychology Today’s advice column, “Surviving (Your Child’s) Adolescence,” shares critical insights and practical tools that parents need to know as their children move through the teen years toward independence and adulthood.
There’s a reason the road is rocky—it’s supposed to be. Children must pass through “four unfolding freedoms” in order to become competent, independent, and confident adults. How easily parents can navigate these twists and turns with less hand-holding, angst, and hitting the brakes directly correlates to how successful their children will be. The four unfolding freedoms are these:
1. freedom from rejection of childhood, around the late elementary school years, when they want to stop acting and being treated as children anymore.
2. freedom of association with peers, around the middle school years, when they want to form a second family of friends.
3. freedom for older experimentation, around the high school years, when they want to try more grown-up activities.
4. freedom to claim emancipation, around the college age years, when they decide to become their own ruling authority.
With each successive push for freedom, both parents and teens need to learn how to do less holding on to each other while doing more letting go. Dr. Carl Pickhardt will show them the way with compassion, experience, and time-tested guidance.