Yes, the title, as well as the subtitle (Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind), are flippant. Bradley addresses the question of tone right off, and if you accept his explanation (and I did), then you’ll be just fine with his tone throughout the book. I, for one, can’t imagine reading a book about teenagers that didn’t feature an irreverent tone.
Bradley combines a look at brain science with anecdotes (including a few about his own parenting experiences) and thoughtful and practical advice. In several places, he makes deliberate choices about tone. That he acknowledges his heavy-handedness about the impact of divorce, for example, only serves to make that section more persuasive. So much, for Bradley, depends on patience, and he is quite aware that this is far easier said than done. That’s why he suggests – and I plan to heed this advice – that readers read his book once all the way through and then use it more as a reference or resource book.
Ignore the blurb from Martin Sheen about how great this book is. (Who thought he was the right person to vouch for a parenting book?) If you have a teenager or a child who is practicing to be a teenager, I strongly recommend this book.