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Books about Parenting Teens
Advice, discussions, and reviews from the
Parents of Teens weekly email newsletter.
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Books about Parenting Teens
Seeking books about parenting teens
I am looking for a few good books on parenting teens. As my kids get older, more
serious issues arise and I want to approach them in a thoughtful way! We are dealing
with driving and curfews and experimenting with alcohol and marijuana, friends we
dont know, etc. The books recommended in the archives are several years old now, and
I'm looking for a few good suggestions. Thanks!
Mother of an exploring teenager
I like ''When Things Get Crazy with Your Teen: The Why, the How, and What to do Now'' by Michael J.
Books: Book 1:An Unchanged Mind by Dr. John McKinnon
Book 2: To Change a Mind by John McKinnon
Executive Director of Montana Academy; therapeutic boarding school
Both are excellent reads; outlines what he is seeing in the teen culture today and as a parent how to
work with it.
Any book by Mike Riera is great.
Mike Riera's books are not brand new, but his advice, psychology, & philosophy of parenting teens
stills holds true, & continues to be very useful for many of the families with whom I work/have
worked. Take a look at ''Staying Connected To Your Teenager: How To Keep Them Talking To You And How
To Hear What They're Really Saying'', & ''Uncommon Sense for Parents with Teenagers''.
Positive Discipline for Teenagers by Jane Nelsen -- good over-arching parenting book for parenting
The Explosive Child by Ross Greene -- about getting to the root of chronic behavior issues by solving
problems collaboratively with your child. Really good for teens, in my opinion.
While there are a lot of books out there geared toward parents dealing
with their teens, are there any books out there geared towards 'tweens
(my daughter is 12) and teens about how they can get along better with
their parents? Or is that just wishful thinking? My daughter doesn't
appear to want to get along better, so this could be a pipe dream. :-0
Our daughter is stubborn, rude, bossy, uncommunicative, non-compliant,
acts like she is in charge of everything. I'm currently reading some
books, but would love it if there were any resources (daughter is a
voracious reader) for 'tweens/teens.
frustrated beyond belief!
''Yes, Your Parents Are Crazy, A Survival Guide For Teens,'' by
Michael J. Bradley. Companion book to ''Yes, You're Teen is Crazy,
Loving Your Kid without Losing Your Mind.''
On Monday April 11th, I was able to catch just part of an interview on NPR's
Talk of the Nation. Neal Conan was interviewing two teen-aged girls, age 17,
who wrote a book recently about their perspective of how parents relate to
and might best talk to their teens. Unfortunately, I had to turn the program
off before it finished, and I did not get the authors names or the name of this
book. Anyone out there know what book this is?
The book you are inquiring about, by Lara Fox and Hilary
Frankel, is titled, ''Breaking the Code: Two Teens Reveal the
Secrets to Better Parent-Child Communication''. The authors
went to my high school, and the following info is from the
alumni magazine - the authors ''saw a school meeting notice
for an expert coming to talk on parent-teen communication.
That sparked a discussion about the true experts on the
teenage thought process -- teens! Their notion of doing a
book on the topic was encouraged by their art teacher...who
referred them to her sister... a literary agent.... When the
students and their literary agent came for a meeting with
[their prospective] editor, [she] asked curiously where the
girls went to school; it wasn't in the proposal.... At that
point the meeting veered way off course as [the editor]
wanted to know if Hilary and Lara had Mr. Werner for
Would anyone care to recommend a book(s) on how to deal with the
shriekyness, prickliness, contentiousness, punctuated by
alternate bouts of needing a hug and wanting to cuddle and
telling me what a ''horrible'' mother I am, in an adolescent girl
(11 1/2 year old) who is, outside of home, a delight, a
high-achieving student with a lot of friends, impassioned about
causes, and more respectful and gracious than a professional
diplomat when dealing with the world outside of home. I have no
illusions that this behavior will abate before age 20, so I would
just like to know how to protect us and her (from my own
frustration and yelping back at her). In short, my first born is
a wonderful person who is acting like a stinky adolescent, right
now, and we don't think that she would quite qualify for a girls
ranch (just kidding).
Thanks for any suggestions.
Why Don't They Come With Instructions?
Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques,
Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence
by Rosalind Wiseman is an informative read. It contains input
from teens and adults and is set up to provide a peek ''inside''
the adolescent mind. It's very proactive in the sense that it
provides scenarios, possible resolutions, hypothetical
conversations re difficult topics, etc. Published 2003,
available at the local library.
Well, I hear your pain as it is mine too. And I would like a few
recommendations also. I have a little store of books tthat I
look at occassionally, one by Michael Ribera, about
Uncommon Parenting (can't recall the full title), that is pretty
basic about both girls and boys. I have also delved into
Reviving Ophelia. My daughter received Ophelia Speaks for
a gift and that is pretty interesting too. I also bought for her
the Chicken Soup for teenage-souls books. She really likes
those. I just looked on Amazon and here's an interesting
title:Ophelia's Mom: Women Speak Out About Loving and
Letting Go of Their Adolescent Daughters -- by Nina
Shandler. Sounds good.
I go through similar stuff and try and take deep breaths, at
the same time I try to remind her to be respectful of me.
Even if she doesn't like me all the time it doesn't mean she
can speak badly to me or be disrespectful. It's a hard job,
but hopefully we will all make it through without damaging
each other. My daughter is in therapy and I can talk to her
therapist anytime I need some answers or practical advice
about how to live with this new person I birthed! I also talk to
my friends and we compare notes. It somehow makes it
better to hear howother people are coping.
I really liked ''The Wonder Of Girls'' by Michael Gurian. Worth checking out, and I'm
pretty sure it's on Amazon.
I can relate! I went through something similar with my daughter,
who is now 21. Recently, I found a book that my sister gave her:
Choices: A Teen Woman's Journal for Self-Awareness and Personal
Planning by Mindy Bingham. Try to be very patient, too.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough: Cool Communication: From Conflict
to Cooperation for Parents and Kids. It's written by a mom and her teenage daughter
and is written to both parent and teen, divided up by section. The authors often
offer seminars in the Bay Area. The advice is really fantastic (it's endorsed by Oprah,
Deepak Chopra anbd Stephen Covey, to name a few). You can buy the earlier
edition on Amazon or the newer one, which has a better cover, here: http://
You might also try:
Raising Confident Girls: 100 Tips for Parents and Teachers
And I think these are must-reads for anyone with a girl:
Where the Girls Are
Deal With It (written for teen girls, but adults might find it helpful)
I needed a recommendation for a pre-teen and teen books. How to
handle boys age 10 and up. I hope to find a book with short
notes and straight forward not so big, how to handle their NO
will, stuborness and friends and peers...etc.
The best teen parenting book I know is called ''Get Out Of My
Life! (but first can you drive me and Cheryl to the mall?)'' by
Anthony Wolfe (you should check the author's name and
spelling). It is straightfoward, and full of great practical
advice and many many examples of how to put it into practice. I
can't wait to see the books other parents reccomend!
Berkeley Child Therapist
The best teen parenting book I've ever read is ''Get Out Of My
Life, but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the Mall?'' by
Anthony Wolf. He also has a wonderful one for sibling issues
called ''Mom, Jason's breathing on me!''
''Raising Cain'' is a great book for anyone raising boys...I read
it when my son was 10, just like yours and you'll be glad you
did - especially when they turn 12-13 - They really do change so
much so fast, physically and emotionally!
boy oh boy
Almost anything by Mike Riera (Uncommon Sense for Parents of
Teens) or Michael Thompson is good.
I have a pre-teen girl. Naturally, she is changing and is
becoming more difficult to deal with. I want to respect her
changes and growth without making her feel like I
don't ''understand'' her. I welcome any recommendations for
books that help parents deal with teenage girls positively.
Many, many future thanks.
Local author Rosemary Graham has a new book for preteen girls
called ''My Not So Terrible Time at the Hippie Hotel''. My 10
year old girl loved it. I think it would be good for ages 10 -
14 or so. It deals with shyness, overeating, divorce,
friendship and first kiss.
Michael Riera's book ''Uncommon sense for parents with Teenagers''
is great, both for the teenager and the parents to read. Also,
I've heard good things about ''Get out of my life, but first
could you drive me and Cheryl to the Mall'', another book that's
good for both parents and teens to read and discuss.
parent of pre-teens
I bought Berkeley author Rosemary Graham's ''My Not-so-terrible
Time at the Hippie Hotel'' for my 12 year old niece. I read it
cover to cover before sending it and thoroughly enjoyed it.
In the book, the reader joins four families at an
intimate ''family camp''-style retreat for divorce(e)s and their
children. The families did not know each other prior to
arriving at the retreat. The story is rich with detail on how
the four of the teenage children posture themselves in their
unfamiliar surroundings, deal with their confused divorced
parents, trade alliances and, one by one, shed their tough teen
exterior to actually form meaningful bonds.
Great for all young adults (and those young at heart).
More Books about Parenting Teens
Re: Friend's difficult 13-year-old. Please get her the book The
Explosive Child, author Greene. It addresses the child who blows up
disproportionately to the problems at hand. It has been a real help
Re: difficult teen
I am also a single mother of a 13 year old boy. My son goes between
being sweet and rude. I know with him, the rudeness is his way of
seperating from me. Every family is different and some kids have a
much harder adolescence than others. I would recomend reading the
book, The Stardust Lounge, Stories from a Boys Adolescence,by Deborah
Digges. I think understanding what kids are going through and getting
support for yourself can help you live through the teenage years.
I attended a UC-sponsored session by Mike Riera, and I concur that he
knows his teenagers. I bought the book HOW TO SURVIVE HIGH SCHOOL, written
just for teens (he has another one for parents) and did as he suggested,
just leave the book around and don't say anything to your kid. A few weeks
later, he picked it up and read it all. Several months later he still
goes back and rereads it and shared it with a best friend. He's a
Many of us have read Reviving Ophelia, but I recently found several
other helpful books. (and I welcome other recommendations )
-Altered Loves, Mothers and Daughters During Adolescence by Terri Apter
-The Body Project, An Intimate History of American Girls by Joan Jacobs
-Positive Discipline for Teenagers by Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott
-Rebel Without a Car, Surviving and Appreciating Your Child
by Fred Mednick
From: Leah (5/99)
I've finally just got around to reading UCB Parents' The Colorado Tragedy,
part 2", and I'd like to recommend a book, though I haven't actually read
it (awful, eh?). I'm not sure how soon I'll have time to read it, but I'd
really love to hear what members of this newsletter think of it, if you've
managed to find the time. The reader reviews on Amazon.com are mostly
extremely positive. Here's a bit from Amazon's official reviewer:
"Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher's groundbreaking book, exposed the toxic
environment faced by adolescent girls in our society. Now, from the same
publisher, comes Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan
Kindlon and Michael Thompson, which does the same for adolescent boys. Boys
suffer from a too-narrow definition of masculinity, the authors assert as
they expose and discuss the relationship between vulnerability and
developing sexuality, the "culture of cruelty" boys live in, the "tyranny
of toughness," the disadvantages of being a boy in elementary school, how
boys' emotional lives are squelched, and what we, as a society, can do
about all this without turning "boys into girls." "Our premise is that boys
will be better off if boys are better understood--and if they are
encouraged to become more emotionally literate," the authors assert."
Sounds good so far!
I have read excerpts in the press and they were excellent in providing
pointed anecdotes about the culture of cruelty among teenage boys, many
examples of which I witnessed teaching at an all boys' Catholic high
school, and which seemed to be implicitly accepted by much of the staff. I
also would recommend William Pollack's *Real Boys*, which can be too mired
in anecdote and loosely written, but still provides very good suggestions.
Finally, I strongly recommend anyone involved in a boy's life to read the
editorial by Jodi Jenter in the June 8 *Daily Cal.*. From my experience,
there often is little space for an openly sensitive heterosexual male in
our society. I am not sure whether that is for good or bad, bit it seems
too ingrained to change at a societal level. Especially, my fear is that
raising a boy to be not only sensitive, but also respectful and polite,
might cause difficulties with others limited to the strictures of
traditional roles. What also needs to be examined is how many women
reinforce the stereotypes of a malehood that denies the expression of
emotion. Luckiliy, however, in this area we have at least some space for
such boys. (June 1999)
Although I have not read Raising Cain, I have just started to read Real Boys
by Dr Pollack. He also addresses the emotional lifes of boys as well as the
disadvantages of a "boys will be boys" mentality. He agrues that boys do
express their emotions - usually through their actions; and it is up to us
to recognize and acknowledge these emotions. He believes that many teaching
methods are directed to the way girls learn and may also contribute to the
acting out that many boys do in school. Thus far I have enjoyed and
appreciated the sections of the book I have read. My sons are only 2 and 3
1/2. I would be interested in other parents thoughts.
-- Ellen (6/99)
I just finished reading a wonderful (and in some respects shocking)
book that I recommend very highly to any and all parents of teens:
Ask me if I care by Nancy Rubin.
Ms. Rubin taught Social Living at Berkeley High for some 20 years, and
her book, published in 1994 I think, generously quotes (with
permission, of course) from student journals she asked her students to
keep. The topics coverd include students' own stories, experiences
and concerns and perceptions about sex, drugs, pregnancies, angst at
parents and family, future dreams, STDs and AIDs, and friends, other
stuff. To me, it was fascinating and in some ways, a whole new world!
My daughter, who is now 15, started to put me through the grinder when
she was 11. I don't think teen related issues are related to
chronological age, but to when the good ol' hormones kick in. When this
happened, I ran to the nearest book store and found a book that I found
incredibly helpful. I thought some of you might find it as useful. It's
called: Get Out of my Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to
the Mall? A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager by Anthony E. Wolf.
The most important point I learned from this book was, "Choose your
Battles." By the way, my daughter read the book after I finished it and
she approved of it as well! -- Olga (3/99)
For all those parents of girls, especially preteens and just teens I'd
like to recommend Mary Pipher's Reviving Ophelia, Rescuing the Selves
of Adolescent Girls. This book did much to give me hindsight, not only
for my daughter, but for myself. It would have been so much more useful
if I'd had it when she was younger. There are no answers in it really,
but a lot of insight into their lives and our society. -- Veronica (3/99)
I've read Reviving Ophelia and it is excellent. I think it should
be required reading for parents of both male and female teens. It
provides a strong dose of reality about what girls are experiencing as
American teens in the 90's. A student I worked with here on campus
mentioned the book to me and said she believed it was on target and an
accurate reflection of what her teen experience had been.
I know that there will be many more issues, but I certainly feel that I
have learned a great deal in the last 10 years. My daughters are now 18
Two books which I found particularly helpful are:
Kirshenbaum, Mira and Foster, Charles: Parent/Teen Breakthrough, The
Riera, Michael, Uncommon Sense for Parents with Teenagers
Mike Riera is local and also has an excellent web site:
Hang in there. Sherry
I have a recommendation for the parent asking for books on raising
teenagers. Our family therapist had actually recommended this for me
when we were going to counseling for some communication problems.
It's called the STEP program (System Training for Effective
Parenting). There's actually a whole series, but there is one
specifically for teens. It's written by Gary McKay and Don Dinkmeyer.
It was very, very helpful. And I'm happy to say it's given me insight
and ideas into parenting my two teenagers! The book/books are
available via amazon.com or at most chain bookstores.
From: Susan (9/98)
in reply to "Raising Teenagers"
there is a website "Parenting Today's Teens" that has some useful
information. the url is http://www.parentingteens.com
Two Web Sites of Value:
1. Mike Riera who wrote Uncommon Sense for Parents With Teenagers has a
very interesting site: http://www.mikeriera.com/
2. Awhile back I stumbled across a copy of an excellent newsletter
called Parenteen, published by The Parents' Coalition of Bay Area High
Their url is: http://www.pcbahs.org/
Every short article in the Winter 1997 issue (the only one I have
seen) looks excellent, including recommendations for a book called
Character First by Joseph Gauld. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel
Goleman is reviewed and another article is entitled Managing
Relationships: How Teens See it. Looks as if the coalition has monthly
meetings and has published Survival Suggestions for Teens and Parents.
For instance, they published "Recommended Guidelines for Parties" adoped
by University High Parents Association.
Back issues of the newsletter are apparently available for $1.25 per
copy (415-389-9441) Though my source is 1997. Best to peruse their web
Warmly, Sherry Reinhardt (mom of 18 and 22 year old daughters)
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