6 Books To Read When Raising Teenagers, In No Particular Order
I was thinking the other day about all the information in my head about raising kids, teenagers in particular. I am a such a reader, that it is really hard to pin down my favorites, because I rarely meet a book that I don’t like. We are all looking for answers, strategies, and ideas to try. I tried to think about where I have looked over the years to help us when we were frustrated or upset, or just needing a few pointers. When it comes to parenting, here are 6 of my favorite go-to books. (Please note: Amazon affliate links are included in this post.)
1) Teen-Proofing Fostering Responsible Decision Making in Your Teenager I have to say that John Rosemond is my parenting mentor, guru, go-to guy!!!!!!! I have every single book of his, or did have, because I have loaned out some and never got them back! He is amazing. No nonsense, but loving strategies that work. He terms himself as a parent, as someone who uses “grandma’s law”. I love him!
If you have toddlers, then Making the Terrible Twos Terrific was awesome, that’s the first book of his that I read. I have recommended it hundreds of times to personal friends and families that I have come into contact as a preschool teacher.
Teen-Proofing research was begun by him as a parent of teenagers himself years ago. This is a great book to refer back to again and again, as are all of his books. “Managing teens so they make self-protective rather than self-destructive decisions is teen-proofing.” The book is full of real world examples that are simple to implement.
2) This was a book that I had to read back when I was still teaching, long before I had my own kids, let alone teenagers, but it was so good that I held onto it. On the back of the book, the blurb says, “…Dr. Seligman explains how to break an “I-give-up’ habit, develop a more constructive explanatory style for interpreting your behavior, and experience the benefits of a more positive interior dialogue. These skills can help break up depression, boost your immune system, better develop your potential, and make you happier.” Huh! That’s a big mouthful, but really it means that you can learn how to talk to yourself in a more positive way. I had to read it, so I did. It’s a bit text booky, but really interesting. So, I do recommend it because it gives real life examples and you really can use the information to change your life for the better, which in turn will help your kids, your marriage, really all aspects of your life. It truly might save someone’s life with some of these strategies.
3) The Optimistic Child is a sequel to Seligman’s first book with children specifically in mind. It shows the relationship between what children think and how it affects their lives. “This book shows that learning the skills of optimism not only reduces the risk of depression in children but also boosts school performance improves physical health, and provides them with the self-reliance they need as they approach the teenage years and adulthood.”
Again, a bit text booky, but so applicable! I have tried to use many of the strategies with my kids in conversations over the years. As I am skimming through to write this post, I am amazed at all the strategies that I could still use, and thinking maybe I will reread a chapter or two! You can teach your child how to talk to him or herself in their heads. It is amazing how negative we can be to our own selves. This book and his first show how this is a skill that can be taught (and learned!) both for adults and kids. Try it:)
4) The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch Ok, this is a gem. Pausch wrote this as a “last lecture” which many professors are asked to do imagining that it is the end of their life and wanting to share a great lesson. He actually was dying, and it truly was his last lecture. But, it wasn’t about dying. His lecture and the book are all about LIVING. I have read snippets and chapters out loud to my kids at bedtime, in the car on trips, in the middle of a teenage drama scene in our own house… His words are great, and not to be forgotten. Life is too short, so get busy!
5) Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement This book is hilarious. It is the journal of Wyma’s year of working with her family to get back to the real world. She has a great writing voice, and I loved everything she had to say. She breaks down each month’s goal into bite-sized chunks, gives advice to the reader about the ups and downs of living through this experience.
She has a blog called The MOAT blog www.themoatblog.com (MOAT stands for A Mother of Adolescents and Teens) which I recommend. She did a bootcamp this past summer with her Cleaning House goals in mind.
I have 3 boys, and the last thing that I want a future daughter-in-law to say to me is that my son doesn’t know how to help around the house. All of my boys know how to cook and clean, among other things. It was nice to read her book for affirmation that I am not the only “mean mom” around!
6) the Homework Hassle John Rosemond I told you that I was crazy about this guy! This is again a book that we have gone back to again and again over the years. Such practical and user friendly advice. We have used many of his strategies, and I will have to say ALL have worked. His advice is the type that you do a headslap and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”
I’m a teacher, and I wish that I had known about this guy back when I was in my 4th grade classroom. The main thing that I like about this book is that it helps the parent move the child to independence at school which leads to more success at school.
Okay, so that is my list for your reading pleasure. I always like to have a parenting book with me as well as a book for pleasure. Actually, I’m such a book nerd, that I love these non-fiction parent-help books just as much, maybe even more than some fiction because they are so helpful. It’s always good to feel smarter at the end of the day.
Good luck, and let us know if you have any parenting books that you would recommend!