The following is a list of books I often recommend to the parents in my teen therapy practice. Many have found them helpful in understanding the challenges their teen may be facing. – Sandra
The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness
By Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.
The author argues that kids do not need straight As, a crammed schedule of extracurricular activities or even a traditional family in order to become contented adults. Kids do not need perfect lives, and learn from adversity and failure, but for the best chance of future happiness, Hallowell says, they need five basic tenets: to feel connected, to play, to practice, attain mastery and receive recognition.
Nurturing Resilience in Our Children
By Robert Brooks, P.h.D., and Sam Goldstein, P.h.D.
Addresses how to teach children to be responsible without provoking a negative reaction, how to guide them to cope with frustrations and challenges without coddling or criticizing them, and how to promote compassion by modeling good interpersonal skills as parents. A helpful chapter on the parent-teacher alliance covers questions on how parents should tackle concerns with school problems and work with their school to find a solution.
Right from Wrong: Instilling a Sense of Integrity in your Child
By Michael Riera and Joseph Di Prisco
Targeted for preschoolers through preteens, each chapter is organized around evocative vignettes about finding integrity. Among them: a kindergartner stealing a candy bar, the death of a family pet, a dustup on the soccer field, an 11-year-old who gives her phone number to a teenage boy at the movies. The authors imaginatively explore how parents can leverage kids’ everyday experiences–homework, competition, tattling, awakening sexuality, or surfing the Internet–into teachable moments of integrity.
The Female Brain
by Louann Brizendine, MD
The author tells the story of the human brain concisely with the impact of a good novel. This book is worth owning for anyone who wants to understand women better, how they change over the years and how female psychology correlates to development and physiology.
Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way
by M. Gary Neuman
If you want to know what your children are really experiencing and want to help, this book is for you. Be warned, it will make you cry, feel pain for your children, and possibly resurrect feelings of guilt. But it will also give you insight and direct you in how to continue parenting effectively with love and guidance, with or without the cooperation of your ex-spouse.
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
by Adele Faber
This book is an excellent communication tool kit, which provides a step-by-step approach to improving relationships in your house.
Parenting from the Inside Out
by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell
Drawing upon stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children.
The Price of Privilege
by Madeline Levine Levine
Explores such issues as social isolation, the fine line between parental under-involvement and over-indulgence, and the perverse role of money and material goods in creating false promises of fulfillment. Yearning for outward approval, adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the delusion that wealth causes happiness.
Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
by Mary Pipher and Ruth Ross
With sympathy and focus the author cites case histories to illustrate the struggles required of adolescent girls to maintain a sense of themselves among the mixed messages they receive from society, their schools and, often, their families. Pipher offers concrete suggestions for ways by which girls can build and maintain a strong sense of self.
Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson
The authors turn a spotlight on the inner lives of boys, debunking preconceptions about gender, explaining the importance of nurturing communication skills and empathy in boys as well as girls, and steering boys toward a manhood of emotional attachment, not stoicism and solitude.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
by John M. Gottman
Gottman has revolutionized the study of marriage by using rigorous scientific procedures to observe the habits of married couples in unprecedented detail over many years. In his book he outlines seven principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship.
Siblings Without Rivalry
by Adele Faber (Author), Elaine Mazlish
The authors talk you through umpteen different situations and outcomes to help you teach your brawling offspring a new set of responses. The highly informative text is punctuated with helpful summary/reminder boxes and cartoons illustrating key points. It’s a must-read for parents with (or planning on) multiple children.
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee
by Wendy Mogel
This author’s wise reflections on parenting demonstrate that trying to iron out any difficulties our children may face in life – now and in the future – actually hinders their development, producing offspring that have far less initiative, resilience, and character than they should.
Too Much of a Good Thing – Raising Children of Character
by Dan Kindlon, P.h.D.
Affluent parents often make life easy for their children while imposing high expectations about academics and sports. These children can then fail to develop life skills necessary to deal with inevitable setbacks and challenges on their own. In frustration over their perceived lack of competence, many indulge in drugs, alcohol, and inappropriate sexual practices.
If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.
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