The Hard Life of the Teenager

Collier, James. The Hard Life of the Teenager. New York: Four
Winds Press 1972. 187 pages.

This book has very real, accurate, and detailed accounts and examples of why the adolescent is usually rebellious, confused, lonely, and depressed st this period of time in their lives. Collier's book covers from the teenager's feelings of inadequacy to sex and the teenager. Mr. Collier gives examples of what he had experienced as a teeneger, as well as his friends, and teenagers in other countries and their experiences to get his point across that all teenagers basically face the same problems. Using this method Collier keeps the reader interested, Collier also uses humor, and facts, which also keeps the information to real life.

The book begins with emotions of the teenager, the age Collier begins with is only speculation, but I assume it starts at early adolescent. Collier uses Freud's explanation of the unconscious mind to explain why the teenager has learned to repress their feelings, giving teenagers a sense of confusion of what is the truth. Collier also uses Freud's theory that everything that happens has a cause, he could not believe that things "just happen."

Further in the book Collier describes the pecking orde3r, which is the birth order of siblings, in which the oldest usually commands or dicates the activities of younger siblings. Once again Collier gives examples as; that white people felt they were supreme over black people. in another chapter Collier speaks of war between parents and children. The book explains why children think and say that they feel their parents are ignorant of their feelings for who they are, or that teenagers know what they want. With teenagers trying to "find themselves," teedder-tottering between childlike temper tantrums and almost adult like thoughts and actions, parents are left in a state of confusion as to how they should talk to their teenager. Towards the end of the book Collier explains about puberty and sex of the adolescent.

All in all the book answers many questions that parents have abvout the teenager and their feelings. Although I feel that this book has a great deal of good answers to questions about teenagers, the book is somewhat outdated. In general the main idea is true. I feel that today's teenager is more stressed and is expected to perform above and beyond their maturity level. Childhood is shorter and adulthood is quicker than even ten years ago.