_ I am not a doctor (despite the provocative headline, the style of which I learned from tabloids; but I warned you with quotation marks). I have not studied psychology (people with that major at my college were weird). But, I have learned a thing or two about human behavior.
My topic of the day is children, especially teenagers. Much has been written (little of which I have read) and blabbered (ditto) about how to raise children to be responsible adults and good citizens. Parents believe, foolishly, that they are the primary influencers.
My wife deals with hundreds of students (and, what’s worse, their parents) in her dancing school. She has also studied psychology (which might lead some to wonder why she chose and stays with me) and is a sympathetic, patient listener. I must endure frequent tales of teenager’s problems and parents’ laments about their children.
My conclusion: the greatest influence on the behavior of teenaged children (or any age, for that matter) is choice of friends. Peer pressure is greater than parental or societal demands.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.