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Holding On While Letting Go

Parenting Your Child Through the Four Freedoms of Adolescence

Published by Health Communications Inc
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

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.

About The Author

Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D., is a noted psychologist, speaker, and parenting expert, now retired from private counseling practice.  He received his B.A. and M.Ed. from Harvard, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the American and Texas Psychological Associations. He writes a popular parenting advice column for Psychology Today and has writtten some of the most practical and helpful books about important parenting issues, including: The Connected Father; Stop the Screaming, The Future of Your Only Child and Why Good Kids Act Cruel. A prolific author, he continues to write three distinct kinds of books: illustrated psychology, of coming of age fiction, and of nonfiction parenting advice – Holding on While Letting Go the seventeenth of these parenting books. For a complete list of his books, see his website:


Product Details

  • Publisher: Health Communications Inc (October 4, 2022)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780757324239

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Raves and Reviews

"As 'real world practical' as it is informative, insightful, and 'parent friendly' in organization and presentation, "Holding On While Letting Go: Parenting Your Child Through the Four Freedoms of Adolescence" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Parenting Instructional Reference collections."

The Parenting Shelf, Wisconsin Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review

"Holding On While Letting Go is precisely the guidebook parents need to instill confidence, mental health, and independence in our children, while building a connected and caring relationship with them at all ages. Carl's Four Freedoms show how to raise our kids into healthy, well-adjusted adults. The book is a resource to help parents adapt, encourage, and grow themselves--so ultimately we are all at our best."

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino, mom of four sons and author of The Change Guidebook

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