The Divorce Helpbook for Teens
By Cynthia MacGregor
Atascadero, CA, 2004
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review by Laura Harting
With chapters like “It’s not about you—It just feels like it is,” “How did we get into this mess?” and “The FAQ chapter,” this book devotes many pages to explaining the whys of parental divorce. For a teen trying to negotiate life, no longer as a child but not yet as an adult, this will be very important information to have.
A key developmental task of being a teen is to understand the world that he or she is getting ready to enter as an adult. Consequently, teens spend a lot of time trying to understand why adults do what they do, say what they say, and make the decisions that they make. Cynthia MacGregor does not avoid the hard questions that teens ask. She answers them in language that is clear and appropriate for adolescents. She also gives practical hints to teens about how to manage their emotions.
In each chapter MacGregor tells stories about teens and their experiences of divorce. These stories make it easier for young readers to stay interested. MacGregor also ends every chapter with points to remember, so if the chapter is too long, readers can skip to the end and still be able to take away the major points of advice.
I like this book for teens. It can be helpful for a teen to read alone and it can also serve as the type of book that parents and teens can read and discuss together. This book can answer some of the many questions teens have about their own situations, and it can open lines of communication between parents and children about divorce.
Laura Harting, LCSW, sees young clients at her private practice in Paoli, Pennsylvania.