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Education Reporter

Book of the Month
Restoring the Teenage Soul, Nurturing Sound Hearts and Minds in a Confused Culture, Margaret J. Meeker, M.D., McKinley & Mann, 1999, 187 pps., $14.95 As a primary-care physician, Dr. Meeker has firsthand insight into the lives of today's young people. Her book shines a revealing light on the serious problems teens face in today's climate of moral decay, yet it carries a message of hope that these problems can be overcome.

Restoring the Teenage Soul
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Dr. Meeker offers important support and advice to parents desperate to keep their teenagers on the right track. She urges parents and society in general not to give up on the next generation, but to answer its collective cry for help manifested by sexual promiscuity, pregnancy, violence, suicide, drugs, and drinking. "There has never been a time in history when teens needed adults more than they do right now," Dr. Meeker asserts.

She explains that "some of the deepest damage done to teens in our culture is to their maturing sexuality." She identifies three "toxic" sexual messages that teens receive: (1) "Your sexuality is so powerful that you are not expected to control it," (2) "Your sexuality is larger than other dimensions of who you are," and (3) "Your sexual feelings are unique in their character and abide by different rules."

Restoring the Teenage Soul will help readers understand that these and many other factors constitute why young people are depressed and suicidal, why so many are getting into trouble, and why eating disorders and desperate searches for love are all too common. Meeker truthfully exposes the dangerous teen behaviors she and other physicians routinely observe and helps parents view adolescence from a young person's perspective. She contends that the fundamental needs of young people for emotional, spiritual and healthy physical (hugging) intimacy with their families are not being met.

Dr. Meeker encourages parents to play an active role in the lives of their children, and describes how to nurture teens psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. She insists that, no matter the problems, all is not lost if adults are willing to "be there for the teens in their lives."

Call toll-free 877/800-7567, or write McKinley-Mann, 940 Pine Ridge Dr., Traverse City, MI 49686. Add $2.50 s/h.

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