Parenting Teens

Clients who are parenting teens or parents of teen clients, may need additional support.  Parenting techniques from childhood don’t always work as kids get older.  The following books have been recommended by therapists to support those who are parenting teens.

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parenting teens resources

From the publisher – In this sane, highly engaging, and informed guide for parents of daughters, Dr. Damour draws on decades of experience and the latest research to reveal the seven distinct—and absolutely normal—developmental transitions that turn girls into grown-ups, including Parting with Childhood, Contending with Adult Authority, Entering the Romantic World, and Caring for Herself. Providing realistic scenarios and welcome advice on how to engage daughters in smart, constructive ways, Untangled gives parents a broad framework for understanding their daughters while addressing their most common questions



parenting teens brainstorm

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain: An Inside-Out Guide to The Emerging Adolescent Mind, Ages 12 to 24, by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

From the publisher – Between the ages of twelve and twenty-four, the brain changes in important and, at times, challenging ways. In Brainstorm, Dr. Daniel Siegel busts a number of commonly held myths about adolescence—for example, that it is merely a stage of “immaturity” filled with often “crazy” behavior. According to Siegel, during adolescence we learn vital skills, such as how to leave home and enter the larger world, connect deeply with others, and safely experiment and take risks.

Drawing on important new research in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, Siegel explores exciting ways in which understanding how the brain functions can improve the lives of adolescents, making their relationships more fulfilling and less lonely and distressing on both sides of the generational divide.


teenage brain parenting teens

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Fances E. Jensen with Amy Ellis Nutt Paperback – January 26, 2016

From the publisher – Dr. Frances E. Jensen is chair of the department of neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. As a mother, teacher, researcher, clinician, and frequent lecturer to parents and teens, she is in a unique position to explain to readers the workings of the teen brain. In The Teenage Brain, Dr. Jensen brings to readers the astonishing findings that previously remained buried in academic journals.




how to raise an adult parenting teens

From the publisher – In How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims draws on research, on conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers, and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large. While empathizing with the parental hopes and, especially, fears that lead to overhelping, Lythcott-Haims offers practical alternative strategies that underline the importance of allowing children to make their own mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and inner determination necessary for success.

Relevant to parents of toddlers as well as of twentysomethings–and of special value to parents of teens–this book is a rallying cry for those who wish to ensure that the next generation can take charge of their own lives with competence and confidence.

parenting teens with love and logic p

Parenting Teens With Love And Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood, by Foster Cline and Jim Fay

From the publisher – Parenting Teens with Love and Logic, from the duo who wrote Parenting with Love and Logic, empowers parents with the skills necessary to set limits, teach important skills, and encourage decision-making in their teenagers. Covering a wide range of real-life issues teens face―including divorce, ADD, addiction, and sex―this book gives you the tools to help your teens find their identity and grow in maturity. Indexed for easy reference.




5 love languages of teens

Socially, mentally, and spiritually, teenagers face a variety of pressures and stresses each day. Despite these pressures, it is still parents who can influence teens the most, and The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers equips parents to make the most of that opportunity.

In this adaptation of the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages (more than 10 million copies sold)Dr. Gary Chapman explores the world in which teenagers live, explains their developmental changes, and gives tools to help you identify and appropriately communicate in your teen’s love language.



boundaries with teens

Boundaries with Teens: When to Say Yes, How to Say No by John Townsend

Teenagers! You love them to pieces … but sometimes you feel like the pieces are falling apart. Relax! Your sanity will survive these rocky teenage years, and so will your teens―provided you set healthy boundaries that work to their benefit and yours. Boundaries with Teens shows you how.From bestselling author and counselor Dr. John Townsend, here is the expert insight and guidance you need to help your teens take responsibility for their actions, attitudes, and emotions and gain a deeper appreciation and respect both for you and for themselves.With wisdom and empathy, Dr. Townsend, a father of two teens himself, applies biblically based principles for the challenging task of guiding your children through the teen years. He shows you how to:• deal with disrespectful attitudes and impossible behavior in your teen• set healthy limits and realistic consequences• be loving and caring while establishing rules• determine specific strategies to deal with problems both big and small. Discover how your teenager thinks. Learn how to apply biblical principles to specific problems. Boundaries with Teens can help you establish wise and loving limits that make a positive difference in your adolescent, in the rest of your family, and in you.

adolescence isn't terminal

Adolescence Isn’t Terminal. It Just Feels Like It by Leman, Kevin

Trusted family relationship expert Kevin Leman helps parents navigate the choppy waters of their children’s teen years with humor and grace. Emotive stories and practical advice give parents hope and encouragement as they guide their children to maturity. Topics include peer pressure, dating, risky behavior, and more.





loving our kids on urpose

Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Making a Heart to Heart Connection by Danny Silk

Most parenting approaches train children to learn to accept being controlled by well meaning parents and adults. Unfortunately, God is not going to control us as we gain independence from our parents. We must learn to control ourselves.

This book will teach parents to train their children to manage their freedoms and protect their important heart to heart relationships.





Redirecting Children’s Behaviorby Kathryn J. Kvols

“This popular book is used as a text by thousands of parents in hundreds of parenting classes across the United States.  It offers practical, logical suggestions for rearing self-motivated and responsible children.  Kvols emphasizes creating win-win situations, teaching the natural consequences of misbehavior, and developing children’s self=esteem and self-control.  She also describes different developmental stages and helps us understand what behavior–however annoying–is normal at every age from 18 months to 18 years.”




If you know of another book that belongs on this list let us know here or tell us about it in the comments. Make sure you’re also following The Therapist’s Bookshelf on Facebook and Instagram.

Many therapists enjoy recommending books to their clients to supplement the work they are doing together. We also use books to help ourselves grow as people and practitioners. Remember though that books are never a replacement for real human connection, for supervision and continuing education, or for therapy when it’s needed. If you find yourself needing a therapist, a great place to start is Psychology Today. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.


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