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Don't Sweat The Small Stuff For Teens    by Richard Carlson order for
Don't Sweat The Small Stuff For Teens
by Richard Carlson
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2000
Paperback, Audio, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Richard Carlson has written a series of highly popular Don't Sweat The Small Stuff books, which give us simple but effective techniques for assessing and adjusting our thinking about life, the universe and everything. Since the teenage years can be especially challenging, this volume - Don't Sweat The Small Stuff For Teens - is a welcome addition to the series.

I loved some of the headings in the table of contents, especially the first, 'Don't Throw Up on Your Friends!', which compares how we handle stomach flu with how we cope with bad moods around friends. It's all very rational and makes a great deal of sense, but also addresses some of more intuitive aspects of thinking (called 'soft' thinking here), and empathy. Some of the issues are timeless, while others relate more to modern lifestyles. For example 'Make Peace with Boredom' strikes a strong chord in the western world, where people (and especially younger ones) expect to be continually entertained.

The author deals with points that parents would like to articulate to teens (who don't always listen), but that quite a few parents should also be dealing with themselves. The fact that the same messages are addressed from many different angles, is somewhat repetitive, but also serves to communicate and to emphasize the points. Advice includes: become button-proof; listen to feelings; spend time with the elderly; keep your sense of humor; recapture the magic of life; listen to wake-up calls; enjoy being a teen; and 'don't sweat the future'.

I don't think I learned much that was totally new from this little volume, but it certainly reminded me of many things that I keep forgetting. I recommend it highly to teens and to their parents (who may lose sight of these issues and need reminders just as I did). And as a parent, I just have one more request for Mr. Carlson. Can you please hurry up and write Don't Sweat The Small Stuff for Siblings!

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