Friday, August 12, 2011

The 2 Best Books about Parenting Teens

When it comes to books about parenting teens, I have two favorites... 

Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen (2004), by David Walsh, Ph.D. Besides having to deal with a momentous and confusing period of maturation, teenagers have a lot on their plates: their education and managing the next step; learning social skills and life skills; and generally preparing themselves to live successful lives as autonomous adults.

And oh, I almost forgot: developing a foundation for critical thinking skills before the sensitive brain development window closes at the end of adolescence.

This last challenge is, in my opinion, the most difficult and momentous thing that happens to a teenager. Several parenting authors have addressed this factor, and none of them knows the science better and gives better advice on a range of issues than David Walsh. He is the man.

Teen-Proofing: Fostering Responsible Decision Making in Your Teenager (1998), by John Rosemond. Once teens brains kick into overdrive and they start connecting the dots, they want to figure out who they separate from their parents. And the decision-making part of their brain is "under construction," making them overly emotional and impulsive. If parents aren't in control, helping the teen to learn good decision-making, the situation will quickly cascade out of control, with disastrous consequences.

Parents really need to get the big picture, and they need to know how to guide a teen with firmness and respect while he or she learns how the world works. No one does this better than John Rosemond.  With detailed example scenarios and on-target Q&A, he clarifies how to apply the principles of appropriate consequences with a teenager. 

If you're a parent who wants solid advice about raising a teen, these two books are probably all you need. And no, I'm not affiliated with or receive compensation from the authors, the publishers or booksellers. Just buy them and read them and do what they say.

Books you can give to your teens...

Conversations with the Wise Aunt (for girls)

Conversations with the Wise Uncle (for boys)

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .


Claudia said...

Thanks for recommending these books. I have an eleven year old son, so I need these. :)

Unknown said...

I'd like to make another recommendation, as well. I think success in teen years starts in preteen years. We've been reading a great new book that we are really excited about, so I just have to share. It's called "MiddleSchool: The Inside Story- What Kids Tell Us, But Don't Tell You," by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna. It has interviews and feedback from middle schoolers, parents and teachers (and a little humor) to help us deal with faith, purity, puberty, communication, independence, discipline and accountability, tackling social media, technology, Internet, gaming, and deepening and strengthening positive, loving relationship. It's so rich in valuable help as we face these transitional years with our kids. I think everyone with a middle schooler or who will have a middle schooler will benefit from it. I highly recommend it!