Friday, December 22, 2017

Born to Be Wild

Born to Be Wild
by Jess P. Shatkin

I had the chance to read NYU’s own Dr. Jess Shatkin’s book Born to Be Wild.  Jess is the director of the CAMS program at NYU, a program that helps students understand ways to enhance resiliency in this world full of crazy situations….  This book is especially helpful to those who are parenting or working with teens.  The book explores why teenagers are risk takers with behaviors that challenge authority figures and sometimes their own safety (such as use of illicit drugs, premarital sex, driving a motorcycle without a helmet, etc.).  Jess is a remarkably competent and likeable person.  The book shares personal stories of how he engages with his clients (at NYU’s Child Study Center) and his own children as they grew up. His easy-to-learn suggestions for being the best parent possible uses a ‘connect-the-dots’ approach.  He uses theoretical frameworks from noted researchers as a basis for his work and presents the material in an easy-to-digest manner.  He also shows how previously popular methods of “scaring kids straight” on topics of drugs and other behaviors that can harm them hasn’t worked, and he delves into the neuroscience to discuss how the brain works.  A relatively quick read – two nights and I was done.  Do yourself a favor and give this book to someone who has kids or those who can be a positive influence on kids.  Thanks, Jess! 

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