Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Getting through to Difficult Kids and Parents: Uncommon Sense for Child Professionals

Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Getting through to Difficult Kids and Parents: Uncommon Sense for Child Professionals

Article excerpt

Taffel, R. (2001). Getting through to difficult kids and parents: Uncommon sense for child professionals. New York: Guilford, 206 pp., $28.00.

This book offers its intended audience (child professionals such as counselors, teachers, school psychologists, caseworkers) a set of concrete methods for getting kids to open up, helping parents stay in charge, increasing children's self-esteem, and preparing parents and children for needed changes. The book is written from the author's clinical experience and is intended to equip child professionals with specific, pragmatic suggestions that are tested and realistic.

For the most part, it is successful in presenting and describing specific interventions and the kind of step-by-step approaches often needed in the treatment of parents, children, and families. Among its strengths are sections on child temperament and recommendations for working with different temperaments, what can be done when treatment suggestions fail, guidance for parents at each child-development level, secondary socializing agents (peers and friends) and their influence on adolescents, a checklist to help parents and professionals differentiate between Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms and personality characteristics of highly active children, and suggestions for helping parents connect with other parents and provide a united front. Case examples are offered throughout the book, and consideration is given to both dual- and single-parent families. …

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