Book Review: Boomerang Kids by Carl Pickhardt, PhD

Boomerang Kids cover imageEvery parent of teens expects difficulties as their children go through adolescence. But what’s less expected and talked about are the issues that arise when children move into their late teens and early 20s and move away from home to either continue their education or work full time.

In his new book, Boomerang Kids: A Revealing Look at Why So Many of Our Children Are Failing on Their Own, and How Parents Can Help, Carl Pickhardt, PhD, looks at many of the issues both parents and young adults face during this time. Pickhardt begins with the premise that late-stage adolescence is when parents need to move from managing their children to mentoring them. He goes on to examine 11 challenges young adults commonly face, and he talks about what parents can do to encourage their ultimate success.

Pickhardt has the experience to back up his advice. He is a psychologist in private counseling, writes a weekly parenting blog for Psychology Today, and is the author of many other parenting books. He talks directly to parents without relying on a lot of industry terminology, and the examples he uses make it easy to understand each challenge and how to approach it.

Chapters also end with helpful “parenting prescriptions” that recap what came before and include suggestions for how parents can react to the challenge presented. My daughters are both in the age range Pickhardt writes about, and they are on the cusp of what he refers to as “trial independence.” I imagine I will keep this book handy and refer back to it for years to come, as my husband and I move through this stage with our daughters. I can also see how it would be helpful to parents of younger adolescents, as it can help them understand some of what their children are going through and how that may play out in the future.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book for review.



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