2017 has been a crazy year, to be sure. There were some good things to come out of the past trip around the sun, including some really helpful books about parenting. Here are some of my favorite books about parenting teens of the past year.
by Jess Shatkin, MD, MPH
Why do teens do confounding and even dangerous things? Turns out that science has the answer. Dr. Jess Shatkin, child and adolescent psychiatrist, explains the research and intersperses anecdotes to explain what is happening in the adolescent brain, which is indeed a very fascinating place.
Along the way, he debunks myths about teen behavior and explains how parents can work with their kids to make sure they both make it through adolescence unscathed. Parents with younger kids will be interested to know that Shatkin addresses proactive methods parents can establish when kids are still young to take the edge off those sometimes volatile teen years.
The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans: How to Decode Their Behavior, Develop Unshakable Trust, and Raise a Respectable Adult
by Josh Shipp
Teens don’t come with instructions, but this may be the next best thing. Author Josh Shipp was an at-risk foster kid and is now a renowned youth advocate who aims to give adults the tools they need to help the teens they love. The odds were stacked against him, but he beat them and went on to work with teens, so he has a wealth of experience from which to draw.
He admits there are no magic shortcuts, and instead offers valuable advice for making the most of the rocky road through adolescence. A key takeaway: No matter what teens may say, they still need their parents, and in fact, caring adults are critical to their future success.
Parents hear a lot about what they should be doing, but psychotherapist Amy Morin’s follow-up to her international best-seller, “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” is based on the idea that knowing what not to do is just as important.
Each chapter in the book is aimed at helping kids develop core beliefs that fuel mental strength, and includes exercises for both parents and kids, as well as lists of both what’s helpful and what’s not helpful. As Frederick Douglass said, “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
This could be a great guide when setting parenting goals for 2018 and beyond.
by Sue Scheff with Melissa Schorr
Kids are online – all the time. It’s a fact, and parents need to have an ongoing conversation about how to use it, the impact it can have, and how we can take charge of our digital lives.
This book by parent advocate and internet safety expert Sue Scheff with Melissa Schoor, with a poignant foreword by Monica Lewinsky, offers practical advice based on fascinating firsthand accounts of public shaming online.
While not specifically a parenting book, it details what families can do to promote a safer, kinder, better internet, and that is one of the big challenges parents face.
Talking about money isn’t always easy, as evidence by the challenges it can pose in a marriage or a friendship. But what about for parents and kids? Parents are their kids’ first and often most influential financial instructors, whether they want to be or not.
While for a wide age range, I appreciate that there’s a lot specific to teens here, including thoughts on after-school jobs and when to get a credit card. And it’s about teaching values more than it is about teaching nickels and dimes.
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