A few weeks ago I sought the advice of my local psychologist Brains Trust on their top 5 books for parents. It was a great list and it got me thinking; what about books for parenting teens? My boys are still in the pre and primary school phase but I know that adolescence is waiting around the corner. What should I be reading to get myself ready? What should you be reading if parenting teenagers is your world right now?
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I broadened the net and asked my entire local network of local psychologists - many of whom work with adolescents - for their recommendations and this is what they came up with:
Dan Siegel (author of The Whole Brain Child) takes a neuroscience approach to understanding developments in the mind of adolescents and how this effects their behaviour and relationships. Rather than fearing the teenage years he describes this as an incredibly positive period of growth, change and experimentation and helps parents to understand how they can help to make teenagers' lives less lonely and improve relationships on both sides of the parent-child equation. This book comes highly recommended by many of our expert psychologists.
Tricky Teens: How To Create a Great Relationship with Your Teen by Andrew Fuller.
Andrew Fuller is an Australian clinical psychologist with a wealth of knowledge and experience helping teens and their parents. I've attended some of his presentations and he's also a very funny man. Andrew says that the key to understanding teenagers is to realise that their behaviour is caused by two things: the routines and habits that are ingrained in their lives and their families' lives and the neurochemicals and hormones washing around in their brains. This is a step-by-step guide to understanding these issues and managing life with teens.
How to be a Great Parent: Understanding Your Child's Wants and Needs by Dr. Nancy S. Buck (eBook)
This one covers the full gamut of the parenting years but provides plenty of tips and advice for parenting teens. It includes practical strategies and techniques for dealing with issues such as chores, homework and sexuality and includes stories from real families as well as quizzes and Q&As to help you apply the techniques straight away. If you've got little ones now and you want to get ready for the years of parenting ahead, this might just be the book for you.
Don't Sweat The Small Stuff For Teens by Richard Carlson
I'm sure you've heard of the original 'Don't Sweat The Small Stuff.' You may even have a copy. There are 12 million of them out there in the world.
Richard Carlson was a psychotherapist who specialised in stress management. He wrote the original book to remind adults of the good things in life and to help keep difficult emotions in proper perspective. In his book for teens he covers chapters such as, 'Make Peace With Your Mistakes,' 'Be Creative in Your Rebellion,' 'Turn Down the Drama,' and 'Notice Your Parents Doing Things Right.' Buy it for you and leave it lying around the house. You never know who might pick it up when they think you're not looking.
When to Really Worry: Mental Health Problems in Teenagers and What to Do About Them by Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg (eBook)
The prevalence of mental health issues in our teens and young adults is alarming, with one in four 16 - 24 year olds estimated to be experiencing some form of mental health condition at any one time (including substance abuse). It's certainly something that I worry about as a parent.
This book by Michael Carr-Gregg provides practical information on the symptoms, causes and treatment for everything from ADHD and eating disorders to anxiety and depression. Michael also includes tips on detecting early warning signs, encouraging your teenager to visit a doctor and finding a youth-friendly GP, counsellor or therapist. This is serious but important reading.
Do you have teenagers at home? What are your tips and advice for those of us who haven't made it to that stage yet? Got any good book recommendations? Let me know and I'll share them around.