When I was pregnant and the first few years of my son’s life, I read many parenting books. It started with What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Then books on sleep, on eating, and eventually behavior and discipline. The elementary years were pretty smooth sailing and I finally felt like I had this parenting thing under control.
Then the teen years hit. The hormones. Some days tempers flared. There are days they don’t seem to listen. They pull away.
When they’re little our concerns are about if they’re breathing, eating, and developing properly. Now in the teen years, I worry if he’ll be a functioning adult. Someone who is a productive member of society? Will he be a good partner to someone?
We need to take some time and understand them. Understand what they’re going through (and why they may be acting a certain way) developmentally and socially.
We need to evaluate how we’re communicating with them. They’re soon to be adults and we can’t speak to them the same as when they were toddlers or elementary-aged.
When it comes to parenting methods I feel strongly about a few things in a few things
- Each kid is different, so what works for one kid may not work well for another. Find what works for your child
- Every family has different beliefs, priorities, values, and lifestyles. Find what works for your family and that may be different than other families.
- You don’t need to follow one parenting method exactly. Read and research a few and take away what resonates with you from each method.
- Discuss. Talk ideas and methods over with your parenting partner if you have one, other parents (in real life or join online chat groups). Talk to your kids too and get their input.
- Remember this isn’t the world that we grew up in.
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10 Top Picks for Parenting Teens Books
*two books on this list are focused on teen boys. There are also quite a few books focused on teenage girls but I haven’t listed them as I am personally more familiar with raising a teen boy.
• one: Have a New Teenager by Friday, Kevin Leman
• two: He’s Not Lazy, Adam Price
• three: The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers, Gary Chapman. The original 5 Love Languages is eye-opening for couples, this version is great for understanding the needs of your child.
• four: Parenting Teens with Love & Logic, Foster Cline, Jim Fay. For fans of the Love and Logic parenting concepts, this book addresses the specific needs related to parenting kids as they’ve grown up to the teen years.
• five: The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults, Frances Jensen, Amy Ellis Nutt
• six: Tough Love – Raising Confident, Kind, Resilient Kids, Lisa Stiepock, Amy Iorio, Lori Gottlieb
• seven: How to Talk So Teens Will Listen and Listen So Teens Will Talk, Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish
• eight: Between Parent and Child, Haim G. Dr. Ginott, Alice Dr. Ginott. Communicating with your teens can be one of the biggest challenges of the teenage years.
• nine: From Boys to Men Maggie Dent
• ten: Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain Daniel Siegel
Have you read any of these books and implemented what you learned? We’d love to hear from you (email us, leave us a comment or DM us on social media). Any books that you’ve discovered that you think we should add to the list?