September 28, 2007 by Stephen
Mike Linderman is a star in the making. He wrestles cattle at the crack of dawn, then spends his days working with the country’s most troubled teens before coming home at night to three healthy teens of his own. Where so many other therapists can only offer futile advice to struggling parents, Linderman has mastered a blend of downhome honesty and military–like discipline––not to mention a layer of trust and love very rarely found in the therapist’s office. Most of the teens Linderman treats are angry, abused, violent, and dangerous–they are children without hope.
Yet despite their difficult pasts, Linderman has achieved an extraordinary success rate with these teens, helping them turn their lives around and earning him the nickname “the Teen Whisperer.” The son of a poor ranching family, Linderman learned at an early age the values of honesty, tough love, and hard work. Miraculously, it is those three values that have transformed the hardened clients at his school into loving, rational, productive teens.
Finally, Linderman shares these and other secrets with parents everywhere as he explains his methods for turning around America’s toughest teens. Centering on the Five Primary Needs of Teens (Survival, Fun, Freedom, Power, and Belonging), his approach demonstrates the importance each of these concepts plays in teen’s family life and the negative impact that occurs when a family is incapable of fulfilling these Needs. Here he provides concrete steps that parents can take to reconnect with their teens as they work together to create a stronger relationship and kids learn to:
* Trust themselves and others
* Process emotion and pain in healthy ways
* Understand and appreciate boundaries
* Gain joy and pride in real work
* Live a life of love, respect and gratitude
Interacting with teens on their terms and in their language, Linderman allows parents to see that in order to help kids you must meet them at their level and treat them as peers not subordinates. With powerful and effective words, he calls on readers to understand that our teenagers deserve our love––not our fear––and ultimately it is this unique and straightforward perspective that sets him apart. It is this methodology, grounded in honesty and integrity, that has led to his unparalleled success record with some our country’s most difficult youths. This is the story of that success and how parents can use the lessons he’s learned to heal the troubled hearts of their own families.