Kids are hard to understand—they shout, they sulk, they slam doors. Luckily, a pair of new books, Why Girls Talk—and What They're Really Saying and Why Boys Don't Talk—and Why It Matters, both by Susan Morris Shaffer and Linda Perlman Gordon, is here to give parents a primer on the native tongue of youth. The gist. While boys don't say much of anything and girls chatter all the time, they're both speaking the language of adolescence.
Helpful as they are, these two new releases offer no guidance for one of the fastest growing configurations in the modern American family: Two Parents, One Dog. For such canine units, there's Hungarian ethologist Vilmos Csanyi's new book, If Dogs Could Talk: Exploring the Canine Mind. This investigation of "dogness" provides plenty of communication tips for anxious parents. Just don't mix up the advice. Teenagers are likely enough to end up in the doghouse on their own.