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The "middler years," ages ten through fifteen, have always been characterized by an urge for independence and secrecy from parents. But these days, that secrecy can lead to more danger than ever before. Tackling the frustrations and fears of parenting in a world where cyber predators make headlines every day and "normal" adolescents act out in ways that beg the question "Where were the parents?", What Are You Doing in There? presents a new way of approaching a child's private life.

In their inimitable, candid style, Charlene Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese offer a variety of strategies for staying informed without resorting to snooping, eavesdropping, or other embarrassing KGB-like tactics. Within each of a child's six privacy zones—bedroom, friends, romance, school, body, and the Internet—Giannetti and Sagarese educate parents about common cover-ups and how to establish limits that enhance a spirit of mutual respect within the household. Exploring not just whether to worry, but how to go about getting honest answers, What Are You Doing in There? charts a course designed to instill maturity that will last well beyond the middler years.

The media constantly exhort parents to find out what the kids are really up to. Now there's finally a common-sense guidebook for addressing suspicions—without doing more harm than good.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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