7 Strategies for Highly Successful Teens

FinalHighRes010-XL

A life changing program for your teens.

I am so excited to announce I have a new program for Teens, Parents and Teachers.

In this fun, entertaining and inspirational talk I go over the 7 strategies for highly effective teens.

This is nothing like your typical high school presentation.

Here are some highlights:

  • Groundbreaking research insights about the teen brain and behavior
  • Hilarious and inspiring videos
  • Immediately applicable action steps to motivate and encourage teens from all levels
  • Relatable stories for teens to feel engaged and understood

I can’t give too much away, but in this talk we delve into both the lighthearted and serious issues teens face including:

  • Effective communication with peers, parents and teachers
  • Mastering the online environment–preventing cyberbullying, staying savvy online and building a digital reputation that lasts
  • School – life balance, reducing stress and finding the right outlets
  • How to have healthy relationships with the important people in a teen’s life
  • Planning for the future, smart college applications, resume building and finding your life passions

I am stoked about this new talk and have already booked out January, February and March at High Schools, youth conferences and Parent groups around the US.

Please contact our manager Lynn Campbell for pricing and date availability:

 manager@radicalparenting.com

*Yes, of course, we have a tween version!

Talking to Kids About Drinking And Driving

On June 22, 2013, drunken driver Matthew Cordle hit and killed Vincent Canzani. In a somber YouTube video, Cordle publicly confessed to causing the fatal crash and pledged to accept responsibility for his actions.

This tragedy sends chills down the spines of parents everywhere. How can parents protect their children from drunken drivers, and how can we help our youth understand the importance of driving sober?

Cordle’s YouTube confession, with 2 million views and counting, gives parents an impetus to have a difficult but necessary conversation with their children. Here are some tips for broaching this sensitive topic with clarity and poignancy:

1. What do they know?
When you first sit down with your child, it is important to find out what they already know and have heard about drunken driving. This is important for all ages, because it allows you to dispel any myths and work off what they have already heard at school or from friends. Here are some questions you can ask depending on your child’s age:

  • Do you know what it means to drive drunk? To drive under the influence?
  • Have you ever talked about drunken driving at school?
  • Have you heard stories about drunken driving? What do you know about it?
  • How do you think drunken driving happens?

Read the rest of my article at HLN!

Five Ways to Help Your Teen Daughter Feel Good About Herself

teen diariesThis guest post is by: Lori Ferraro is the author of the blog onceuponaproduct.com where she writes about her life long obsessions with make up, food and Mick Jagger and her past obsessions with big hair and boys. She is an actor who has been heavily involved in theatre since her parents took her to see Sarah Jessica Parker star in Annie on Broadway when she was eight years old. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon and is mom to two boys, five and eight – she hopes her house will become hang out central in the future.

How I perceived myself during my tween/teen years can be summed up in three little words:

Not. So. Great.

All you have to do is look back to my childhood/teenage diaries to see exactly what I’m talking about:

When I look back at family albums at pictures of myself there really wasn’t anything at all wrong with me. Yes I was a little overweight, but it was nothing to be overly concerned about. Yes I wore a ton of black eyeliner and dressed like Madonna, but so did all of the other girls back then.  And yes my hair was gi-normous, but it was the eighties and I was living in New York and Florida – what did you expect?

Tell her she’s beautiful.

Even if at the moment you’re not so sure – maybe she has some questionable fashion choices, wears black lipstick or has dyed her hair some insane color. She’s still your girl and she’s in there – buried – but there. She’s exploring, experimenting, expressing – figuring out who she is and where she fits in. As frustrating as it may be to you and to Grandma, it’s sooo normal. When my parents were overly concerned about my bad makeup choices in the seventh grade, my mom sneakily took me to the mall where we made a pit stop at the Clinique counter for an appointment with a woman in a white lab coat. It was my makeup intervention! I still wear Clinique’s Raspberry Glace lipstick to this day thanks to that lady in the lab coat.

teen self esteemHave her friends over.

My house was hangout central, where all the girls and guys liked to gather after school and on the weekends. My friends loved my parents – Mom and Dad took the time to get to know them, from where they grew up to who they had crushes on. My mom gave my girlfriends manicures and my dad rented horror movies for us to watch and popped popcorn with lots of butter. Our house is where we would eat pizza on a Friday night and where couples gathered to have homecoming and prom photos taken – because we all enjoyed being there. I credit my mom and dad for making “Lori’s house” the place to be/meet/hang.

Don’t deny her of the good stuff.

Short and sweet – give her the sweets. I was tormented for years, watching my girlfriends eat good old fashioned old ice cream while I sat with my little plastic cup of – blech- ice milk. Do they even make ice milk anymore? I don’t think so and I hope not, because ice milk sucks. Give your daughter ice cream. Not  the carton with a spoon – a bowl. Give her real yogurt and real sour cream too. The good stuff in moderation is so much sweeter than the bland stuff every day. 

One on one time.

During the tenth grade I was having a really hard time – my weight, my grades, my boy troubles – the usual. I remember specifically my mom taking me out to breakfast one Sunday right after church. It was out of the normal routine and weird that my dad and brother were going home rather than coming out with us. She recognized that I was struggling and had a conversation with me about what was going on, plain and simple. No talking down to me or anger over a failed test, less like a parent and more like a friend which sometimes is needed. That breakfast has always stuck with me as something special my mom did for me.

Encourage her.diary

I know – no brainer right? Whatever she’s interested in, wherever her passions lay.  In high school I tried out for pretty much everything until I found my “people” in the drama club. I ended up majoring in theatre in college and my parents supported me, never saying, “What are you going to do with a theatre degree?” and drove two hours to see me in every production I did away at school.

These are exciting years – and difficult years, full of change and growth. With support, understanding and love you will both get through them. Who knows – those questionable fashion choices may lead her to be a future season finalist on Project Runway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Best Books for Parents of Teens

What are the 5 parenting books that every parent of teens should read? It is a mission at Radical Parenting to increase reading and literacy. We also love supporting authors.

Here we have selected our top five favorite books for parents of teens:

Get Out of My Life…. but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall? by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D

A parent’s Guide to today’s teenager. Dr. Wolf does a great job telling stories and relating advice for parents.

Best books for parents of teensDo I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?: Stop Fighting, Start Talking, and Get to Know Your Teen by Vanessa Van Petten

A shameless plug, of course our teens were happy to review this parenting book, written by a teen for teens and their parents.  Traditional, and dare we say radical tips from the founder of Radical Parenting.

Take Out Your Nose Ring, Honey, We’re Going to Grandma’s: Hanging In, Holding On and Letting Go of Your Teen by Carleton Kendrick

This book is a reassuring antidote to today’s epidemic of negative teen stereotypes, a collection of real-life, inspiring and amusing stories from the true experts – POAs, parents of adolescents. Nosering helps you stay lovingly connected with your teens while remaining aware of their goodness, confusion and desperate search for identity.

“Yes Your Teen is Crazy!” by Dr. Mike Bradley

This is an extremely comprehensive book that informs parents about what teens are experiencing both physiologically and psychologically during puberty. Additionally, it teaches parents how to handle all the various challenging situations with which their teens may well present them. It emphasizes parenting with consistency, compassion, concrete acknowledgment of teens’ growing capacity for responsibility and the importance of maintaining a dispassionate demeanor during whatever emotional outbursts or rages parents are confronted.

Blessings of B Minus by Wendy Mogul

This book uses Jewish Principles to teach parents how to raise resilient kids and teens. Even though the principles are from Jewish philosophy this book is really helpful for parents of all religions and backgrounds.

We hope you will consider bringing more books into your own home. Feel free to leave us your favorite books in the comments.

If you liked this post, you might also like our list of favorite books for parents.

5 Best Parenting Books

What are the 5 parenting books that every parent should read? It is a mission at Radical Parenting to increase reading and literacy. We also love supporting authors.

Here we have selected our top five favorite books for parents:

top picks for parents, mom blog, recommendations for parents, website for parents, parenting website
All of our content is Teen Approved by our teen interns!

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

This is an amazing book for parents that uses scientific studies to bust parenting myths and help give tools that actually work.

Scream Free Parenting by Jenny Runkel

ScreamFree Parenting is a new approach to parenting that parents rave about. The focus is on creating responsible, caring adults through improving your relationship with your child rather than just trying to “get them” to do the right thing. It contains universal principles, which teach parents to become the calm, cool, and connected influencers in their homes rather than trying to simply be game wardens or gate keepers.

Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes our Souls by Gary L. Thomas

Sacred Parenting is unlike any other parenting book you have ever read. This is not a “how-to” book that teaches you ways to discipline your kids or help them achieve their full potential. Instead of discussing how parents can change their kids, Sacred Parenting turns the tables and demonstrates how God uses our kids to change us.

Real Love and Real Love in Parenting by Greg Baer, M.D.

Greg Baer holds nothing back. Some of what he says might feel a little harsh, but can be a real wake up call to be REAL about our responsibilities and our role in our kids’ lives. Tweens and Teens of parents applying these principles will love the change they see in their parents and how they feel happier, receive more respect, autonomy, and skills to prepare them for a lifetime of powerfully REAL relationships and happiness.

Just Tell Me What To Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts For Perplexed Parents by Betsy Brown Braun

This book provides hands-on, just give-it-to-me-straight tools so that parents gain the skills and confidence they need to handle the sometimes challenging situations that inevitably accompany raising children ages 2-6 and beyond. Hailed by the New York Times as a “parenting guru,” Braun’s down-to-earth advice is derived from her expertise working with thousands of children (from toddlers to teens) and parents for over three decades.

We hope you will consider bringing more books into your own home. Feel free to leave us your favorite books in the comments.

If you liked this post, you might also like our list of favorite books for parents at Radical Parenting.

Best Parenting Books for Parents of Teens

books for kids, best books, best books for teens, summer reading, book recommendations for teens
These books are Teen Approved by our teen interns!

We have selected our favorite books for parents of teens. Our teenagers read current parenting books looking for ones that contained relevant, applicable advice that would work with them. Here is what they chose:

Best Books for Parents of Teens:

Get Out of My Life…. but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall? by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D

A parent’s Guide to today’s teenager. Dr. Wolf does a great job telling stories and relating advice for parents.

Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?: Stop Fighting, Start Talking, and Get to Know Your Teen by Vanessa Van Petten

A shameless plug, of course our teens were happy to review this parenting book, written by a teen for teens and their parents.  Traditional, and dare we say radical tips from the founder of Radical Parenting.

Take Out Your Nose Ring, Honey, We’re Going to Grandma’s: Hanging In, Holding On and Letting Go of Your Teen by Carleton Kendrick

This book is a reassuring antidote to today’s epidemic of negative teen stereotypes, a collection of real-life, inspiring and amusing stories from the true experts – POAs, parents of adolescents. Nosering helps you stay lovingly connected with your teens while remaini

Best General Parenting Books:

NurtureShock: New ThinkingAbout Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

This is an amazing book for parents that uses scientific studies to bust parenting myths and help give tools that actually work.

Scream Free Parenting by Jenny Runkel

ScreamFree Parenting is a new approach to parenting that parents rave about. The focus is on creating responsible, caring adults through improving your relationship with your child rather than just trying to “get them” to do the right thing. It contains universal principles, which teach parents to become the calm, cool, and connected influencers in their homes rather than trying to simply be game wardens or gate keepers.

Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes our Souls by Gary L. Thomas

Sacred Parenting is unlike any other parenting book you have ever read. This is not a “how-to” book that teaches you ways to discipline your kids or help them achieve their full potential. Instead of discussing how parents can change their kids, Sacred Parenting turns the tables and demonstrates how God uses our kids to change us.

Real Love and Real Love in Parenting by Greg Baer, M.D.

Greg Baer holds nothing back. Some of what he says might feel a little harsh, but can be a real wake up call to be REAL about our responsibilities and our role in our kids’ lives. Tweens and Teens of parents applying these principles will love the change they see in their parents and how they feel happier, receive more respect, autonomy, and skills to prepare them for a lifetime of powerfully REAL relationships and happiness.

Just Tell Me What To Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts For Perplexed Parents by Betsy Brown Braun

This book provides hands-on, just give-it-to-me-straight tools so that parents gain the skills and confidence they need to handle the sometimes challenging situations that inevitably accompany raising children ages 2-6 and beyond. Hailed by the New York Times as a “parenting guru,” Braun’s down-to-earth advice is derived from her expertise working with thousands of children (from toddlers to teens) and parents for over three decades.

Have you seen our other top picks? 

Best Books for Parents

best-parenting-book-badge1We love supporting authors and readers and we have selected our top five books for parents in each of the following categories:

Best Books for Parents of All Ages:

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

This is an amazing book for parents that uses scientific studies to bust parenting myths and help give tools that actually work.

Scream Free Parenting by Jenny Runkel

ScreamFree Parenting is a new approach to parenting that parents rave about. The focus is on creating responsible, caring adults through improving your relationship with your child rather than just trying to “get them” to do the right thing. It contains universal principles, which teach parents to become the calm, cool, and connected influencers in their homes rather than trying to simply be game wardens or gate keepers.

Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes our Souls by Gary L. Thomas

Sacred Parenting is unlike any other parenting book you have ever read. This is not a “how-to” book that teaches you ways to discipline your kids or help them achieve their full potential. Instead of discussing how parents can change their kids, Sacred Parenting turns the tables and demonstrates how God uses our kids to change us.

Real Love and Real Love in Parenting by Greg Baer, M.D.

Greg Baer holds nothing back. Some of what he says might feel a little harsh, but can be a real wake up call to be REAL about our responsibilities and our role in our kids’ lives. Tweens and Teens of parents applying these principles will love the change they see in their parents and how they feel happier, receive more respect, autonomy, and skills to prepare them for a lifetime of powerfully REAL relationships and happiness.

Just Tell Me What To Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts For Perplexed Parents by Betsy Brown Braun

This book provides hands-on, just give-it-to-me-straight tools so that parents gain the skills and confidence they need to handle the sometimes challenging situations that inevitably accompany raising children ages 2-6 and beyond. Hailed by the New York Times as a “parenting guru,” Braun’s down-to-earth advice is derived from her expertise working with thousands of children (from toddlers to teens) and parents for over three decades.

Best Books for Parents of Teens:

Get Out of My Life…. but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall? by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D

A parent’s Guide to today’s teenager. Dr. Wolf does a great job telling stories and relating advice for parents.

Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?: Stop Fighting, Start Talking, and Get to Know Your Teen by Vanessa Van Petten

A shameless plug, of course our teens were happy to review this parenting book, written by a teen for teens and their parents.  Traditional, and dare we say radical tips from the founder of Radical Parenting.

Take Out Your Nose Ring, Honey, We’re Going to Grandma’s: Hanging In, Holding On and Letting Go of Your Teen by Carleton Kendrick

best books, best books for teens, summer reading, book recommendations for teens
These Books are Teen Approved by our teen interns!

This book is a reassuring antidote to today’s epidemic of negative teen stereotypes, a collection of real-life, inspiring and amusing stories from the true experts – POAs, parents of adolescents. Nosering helps you stay lovingly connected with your teens while remaining aware of their goodness, confusion and desperate search for identity.

“Yes Your Teen is Crazy!” by Dr. Mike Bradley

This is an extremely comprehensive book that informs parents about what teens are experiencing both physiologically and psychologically during puberty. Additionally, it teaches parents how to handle all the various challenging situations with which their teens may well present them. It emphasizes parenting with consistency, compassion, concrete acknowledgment of teens’ growing capacity for responsibility and the importance of maintaining a dispassionate demeanor during whatever emotional outbursts or rages parents are confronted.

Blessings of B Minus by Wendy Mogul

This book uses Jewish Principles to teach parents how to raise resilient kids and teens. Even though the principles are from Jewish philosophy this book is really helpful for parents of all religions and backgrounds.

Best Books for Parents of Kids and Tweens

Smart Parenting for Smart Kids: Nurturing Your Child’s True Potential by Eileen Kennedy Moore, PhD Mark S Lowenthal, PsyD

I love how this book approaches talking to kids about achievement in success–without pushing perfection. A great read, inspiring stories, and helpful advice.

What Kids REALLY Want to Ask: Using Movies to Start Meaningful Conversations‹A Guidebook for Parents and Children Ages 10-­14 by Rhonda A. Richardson, PhD and A. Margaret Pevec, MA

“What Kids REALLY Want to Ask provides an ingenious, fun, and effective way for parents and young people to connect. And it takes exactly this connection for adult wisdom to flow to kids–and for kids to offer their insights to parents.

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 1.13.26 PMSimplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross

I love that this book is about simplifying the lives of parents and kids. If you want to strip down to basics and leave a calmer life, this approach to parenting is for you.

Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl

This author is a former teacher and knows exactly how to engage kids to learn and be excited about learning. Her ideas really resonate with both parents and kids.

No Regrets Parenting: Turning Long Days and Short Years into Cherished Moments with Your Kids by Harley Robart, M.D.

If you are not a big reader, this short and sweet book is for you. With some easy lessons and inspiring moments this book can kickstart your bonding with your kids.

Best Books for Parents with Babies and Toddlers

Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky

This book gives step by step advice on the seven skills that your child needs and exactly how to help your child learn them.

Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn – and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D. & Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D.

Play is so important! This book helps parents understand the foundation of learning how important play is to incorporate into your child’s environment.

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina

I am a big fan of following the latest science and this book gives a great overview of the most important science for a developing brain.

Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t by Suzanne Barston

Food is a hot topic right now and this book gives a great overview into how feeding and motherhood have changed and how these trends are going to effect our children and families.

Parenting From the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel, Mary Hartzell

Siegel is a prolific author and researcher and his partnership with Hartzell to write this book is a beautiful look into how we can parent from the inside out.

Have you seen our other top picks? 

Best Books for Children

books for kids, best books, best books for teens, summer reading, book recommendations for teens
These books are Teen Approved by our teen interns!

Here at Radical Parenting, we believe that reading is essential for kids. So every year we pick our favorite books and recommendations for our readers. We comb the web, amazon and reviews looking for the best books for kids and then pick our top recommendations for you.

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 10.31.01 AMFive Classic Books Every Child Should Have:

1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

3. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

4. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

5. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Our Five Favorite New Books for Children (Ages 2-7)

1. Let’s Go for a Drive!  By Mo Willems

Good friends Elephant and Piggie’s best plans in preparing to take a drive go awry when they realize they have no car. (A 2013 Geisel Honor Book)

2. Black Dog. By Levi Pinfold

Here’s a story that demonstrates that even the smallest family member has the courage to save everyone. Both the illustrations and the text move from scary to comforting with a satisfying ending.

3. Extra Yarn. By Mac Barnett . Illus. by Jon Klassen

A selfish archduke threatens to halt a little girl’s transformation of a colorless town and steal her box of magical yarn.  (A 2013 Caldecott Honor Book)

4. Oh, No! By Candace Fleming. Illus. by Eric Rohmann

With exuberant rhythmic phrases and jungle colored illustrations, five animals are disturbed by a grinning tiger and fall into a hole, one by one. This suspenseful cumulative tale is an engaging read-aloud.

5. Up, Tall, and High! By Ethan Long

A bevy of birds performs a play in three acts, while teaching the concepts of up, tall, and high. Children will delight in reading additional words hidden beneath thick flaps. (The 2013 Geisel Medal Book)

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 10.47.07 AMOur Five Favorite New Books for Children (Ages 8-10)

1. A Black Hole Is Not a Hole. By Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano. Illus. by Michael Carroll. Charlesbridge.

Using analogies within a child’s experience, this deceptively clear, engaging introduction to black holes describes, explains, excites, and sparks a sense of wonder.

2. Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team. By Audrey Vernick.  Illus. by Steven Salerno. Clarion/Houghton.

The Acerra family had twelve sons who all played baseball together from the time they were children, through World War II, and into adulthood. The story of their camaraderie and positive family attitude is as inspiring as their baseball records. Retro illustrations take readers back to the 1930s and 1940s.

3. Iceberg, Right Ahead!: The Tragedy of the Titanic. By Stephanie Sammartino McPherson. illus. Lerner/Twenty-First Century.

Drawing from official documents, logs, and diaries and illlustrated with plentiful photographs, this well-organized, gripping chronicle records the tragic story, from the original design and construction to the discovery of the ship’s remains and motion picture recreations.

4. Liar & Spy. By Rebecca Stead. Random/Wendy Lamb.

What’s real and what’s deception? This subtle story, with unlikely friendships and secrets to be revealed, will intrigue readers and encourage a second reading.

5. Wonder. By R. J. Palacio. Knopf.

Born with facial deformities, August chooses to attend “regular” school for the first time.  Told from many perspectives, this is a powerful novel about friendship and acceptance.

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 10.50.26 AMOur Five Favorite New Books for Children (Ages 11-14)

Also see our favorite books for young adults and tweens!

1. The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano. By Sonia Manzano

In 1969 Spanish Harlem, fourteen-year-old Evelyn Serrano is caught in a whirlwind of events led by the revolutionary Young Lords and learns to value her own culture and history. (A 2013 Belpré Author Honor Book)

2. Son. By Lois Lowry

The powerful conclusion of The Giver quartet, Son stands alone as a story of friendship, love, loss, and sacrifice.

3. Temple Grandin: How the Girl who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World. By Sy Montgomery

Using interviews, blueprints, and accessible narrative, the author explains the workings of the autistic brain while introducing the life of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman famous for her animal rights advocacy.

4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. By Benjamin Alire Sáenz

This truly universal novel about the friendship of two boys on the edge of manhood addresses issues of identity, friendship, family, and love. (The 2013 Belpré Author Medal Book, a Printz Honor Book, and the Stonewall Award Book)

5. Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart. By Candace Fleming

In her clear, readable style, Fleming shows how Earhart captured the public imagination. Chapters of background information alternate with the chilling account of her final flight. Enhanced with maps, archival documents, news photos, and other contemporary sources.

We hope you will consider bringing more books into your own home. Feel free to leave us your favorite books in the comments.

Have you seen our other top picks? 

Best Books for Teens

best-teen-book-badge1

Our teen interns worked very hard reviewing the hundreds of submissions we received for the Best Teen Book contest.

Here are some of the favorite books for fellow teens:

Best Fiction Books for Teens

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

The Uglies series of books are not only intensely thrilling and hard to put down, but also will get teens thinking about larger issues. Scott Westerfield masterfully ties in questions of identity, image and self confidence in his adventure filled book series. For teens who liked the Hunger Games or the Gone series, the Uglies is another classic they won’t want to put down.

TTYL by Lauren Myracle

TTYL, written by Lauren Myracle, is a very unique book.  It is completely written in the instant messages exchanged between the three friends throughout their grade 10 year at high school. This book was very entertaining to read and dealt with hilarious situations. It also deals with the regular teen issues such as popularity, relationships, drinking, and drugs. It is a very quick and fun read as Lauren Myracle is a funny lady who knows how to make teens laugh.

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Elsewhere is an extremely impressive book. Although no one knows or will ever know what happens or where one goes following death, Gabrielle Zevin manages to create a completely believable afterlife. It is so realistic that one cannot help but wonder if it is true. It would be a very pleasant way to spend time in the after life. In this world, people who die go to heaven and live quite normal lives with the exception that they age backwards and never grow ill. They get younger instead of older until they become babies, and once more are born as a different person on Earth. The main character, Liz Hall, is learning all of these new things after her unexpected death at 15. She must learn to cope with this new life and let go of her old one while watching her family from heaven.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Another success from Sarah Dessen, this book lives up to reader’s expectations. Just Listen kept me hooked from the beginning until the end, willing me to keep reading. I was very impressed with this book as I am with all of her books. It has an interesting plot, which centers on a high school girl, Annabelle, and her experience with being raped by her best friend’s boyfriend. Along with this terrifying occurrence, her sister suffers from extreme anorexia and over-exercising, and so must go through intensive therapy after almost dying. Annabelle’s life may look perfect from the outside-she’s a model, and was one of the most popular girls at school-but this book reveals her suffering and what she faces every day. Along with its interesting plot, it also incorporates the timeless message of ‘not to judge a book by its cover’.

Slept Away by Julie Kraut

Laney Parker is a city girl through and through. Love this great summer read by the author of Hot Mess.  Teens will love it as Julie Kraut’s voice is young, fun and very relatable to teen girls. Any teenager who has moved will be able to relate to the stories struggling heroine. Great summer or vacation reading!

Best Non-Fiction Books for Teens

The Green Teen: The Eco-Friendly Teen’s Guide to Saving The Planet by Jenn Savedge

Today’s teenagers are standing at the crossroads of environmental history and The Green Teen gives them the info they need to minimize their environmental impact at home, at school, and in their communities and get their concerns recognized by school officials, politicians, media, and even their own parents.

Coping with Cliques by Susan Sprague

This book is for young women dealing with gossip, teasing, bullying, and peer pressure in junior high and high school. This is something that too many girls are dealing with, and learning how to deal with it in an effective way helps girls grow into young women with high self-esteem.

Teen Entrepreneur Success Secrets: The Essential Guide to Starting and Growing a Business by-Shonika Proctor

Teens don’t want to be helped, they want to be empowered. They want to be given the same information and opportunities as adults, however, they don’t want to get the condensed version in a “Rated G” format. While a life coach helps teens to get their you know what together, a teen entrepreneur coach supports teens as they discover what their you know what is.

The Laugh Out Loud Guide: Ace the SAT Exam without Boring Yourself to Sleep! 
by Charles Horn

Research shows that comedy enhances learning, reduces stress, makes subjects more interesting, and increases recall. Students can now literally laugh their way to a higher test score.

books for kids, best books, best books for teens, summer reading, book recommendations for teens
These books are Teen Approved by our teen interns!

Best Self Help Books for Teens

Questions Young People Ask, Answers That Work, Volumes 1&2 by Dr Andrea Frayser

This book provides honest workable answers to questions that kids and parents often wrestle with like: Why Don’t I Like Myself? How Do I Know if It’s Real Love? What If My Parents Are Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol? How Can I Protect Myself at School? Can I Be Happy In A Single Parent Family? and More.

MY FEET AREN’T UGLY, A GIRLS GUIDE TO LOVING HERSELF FROM THE INSIDE OUT by Debra Beck

Debra’s style of writing and insight into teen girls issues today really reaches out to them in their language. There are parts that are funny, deep and very revealing as to who we all are and the problems we all face and solutions are given!

My Life Unscripted: Who’s Writing Your Life? by Tricia Goyer

Goyer’s book is written for 12 – 20 year-old girls. Parent’s will LOVE this book, because it teaches girls to navigate their tween/teen years without giving in to peer pressure. It gives girls the tools they need to decide what they will and won’t do before they are faced with temptations, peer pressure, and/or difficult situations.

Special Topics: Interesting Books for Teens

Sew with Sara by Sara Trail

Sara shows you how easy and fun it is to sew cute clothes and accessories-and make money from your sewing. 9 beginner-friendly projects include PJs, pillows, a tote bag, a cell phone or MP3 player cover, an apron, a notebook cover, and more. Laugh along with Sara’s journal entries.

The Ultimate Girls’ Guide to Understanding and Caring for Your Body by Isabel and Emily Lluch

The book covers all the topics preteen and teen girls are wondering about but might not know who to talk to, or might not be comfortable asking an adult about, including hygiene, beauty, healthy eating, periods, bras, acne, social situations, and more. The best part: the book’s authors, Isabel and Emily Lluch, are sisters who are 13 and 16, so they know all about the changes and questions girls have during puberty. The girls give advice on these important topics, along with the advice from a panel of 6 experts in the medical and beauty industries.

Wishing: Diaries of a Teen Pregnancy by Kim McLeod

This book is the largely unedited diary of the author during her mid-teens, as she struggled with drinking and drug addiction, religion and family conflicts, and finally, teen pregnancy. You can’t get better insight into a teenage mind than this girl’s voice in all of its raw honesty.

Top Teen Book Picks:

“When you pick up a book and dive into another story, it’s like escaping into a different world. There are so many books out there that practically anyone can find a book that they will enjoy. The books I read leave lasting impressions so that I remember them well after I have turned the last page.” Laura, 17

The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever is an amazing novel written by Sarah Dessen. It follows the summer of Macy, a sixteen-year-old who is known around her town for the girl who saw her father die. While trying to maintain a perfect SAT score and her job at the library with the ultra-perfect girls working there, she realizes that she needs a change from her constant strive for perfection. She stumbles upon a job at a catering company, whose employees are less than perfect and she fits in effortlessly. It is a very hectic job, but it is what she needs in her life.

“I read this book when I was 10 and absolutely loved it. I think it is one of the best books for young adults to read because it was both inspiring and action packed. Especially for summer reading or if you are trying to find a book for your tween during summer vacation, give Eragon a try!” –Maggie, 15

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Prep is such an amazing novel especially for teens who feel out of place and alone. This can get a bit heavy at times, but really digs deep into many of the issues teens face on a daily basis like dating, studying, cliques and social pressure. The characters are also deep and interesting to follow along with.

” I read this book from cover to cover in the span of a few hours. I felt like I was cheating myself of Kaela and her new extraordinary and supernatural friends whenever I put it down to eat. This book doesn’t contain an extraneous word or a boring scene. The story flows from page to page like a beautiful clear stream. In the end, I still craved for more of Kaela Neuleaf and her cousin Shawn. Thankfully, Barbara A. Mahler is working on the second book in the trilogy. In the meantime, I recommend you pass by your local bookstore and explore the hole in the Sky.” –Gema, 18

The Hole in the Sky by Barbara A. Mahler

The Hole in the Sky is just the first in a trilogy and needs to be on everyone’s shelf. Although written for the readers between ages eight and thirteen, anyone who’s struggled with loss and grief can relate to Kaela’s journey. Interestingly enough, this book was inspired by the September 11th tragedy. What I found particularly remarkable is that Barbara A. Mahler is able to demonstrate the power of love without sacrificing the characters’ adventures or personalities. Grief has affected Kaela with the death of her mother. Even though she risks her life in this new world, the real adventure is in overcoming grief, fears and allowing love into her heart.  When we hear about “the power of love”, the stereotypical image of hippies and peace and love signs usually come to mind but that is not the case in this book. The Hole in the Sky is able to teach us about the dangers of a hardened heart and the benefits of love without having Kumbaya playing in the background.

Have you seen our other top picks? 

Summer Learning Activity Ideas for Teens

teen summer activities, teen jobs, teen internship, teen resume, teen activity ideas, online courses for teens, online programs for teens, summer programs for teensSummer can be a great time for vacation, freedom and fun outdoors, but all too often teens take the entire summer to watch TV, play video games and let their brains turn to mush. What can parents do to encourage their kids to use their summer free time wisely?

I encourage all of my teen readers and teen interns to use their summers wisely. But I always hear the same excuses:

“I can’t do summer stuff because my family is going on vacation.”

“I have a part-time job so I need something flexible.”

“Summer programs are too expensive.”

“There aren’t any summer programs where I live.”

So, I decided to hand select some online programs that will be great for teens this summer. These are great for parents to look into as they are flexible, affordable and virtual.

See How Easily You Can Get Your Teen Learning This Summer!

Online courses are a great way for teenagers to spend their summers.

Why are online programs for teens so great?

Here’s why:

  • Online courses for teens are much more affordable (if not free) than other summer programs.
  • Online programs can be done virtually–they are not limited to one location. So no matter where you are in the country your teen can benefit from some of these educational programs.
  • These summer programs have no time limit. If your teen has a part-time job or vacation or needs to study for the SAT, no problem! I have selected these online courses because they can be taken at any time and have no due date.

Get Rid of Summer Boredom Once and For All

Summer Programs for Teens

Here are my favorite online courses for teens to banish boredom and have a productive summer…and for our teen readers: How to Have a Summer You Can Be Proud Of! These are all easy ways to help your teen be productive this summer:

teen summer activities, teen jobs, teen internship, teen resume, teen activity ideas, online courses for teens, online programs for teens, summer programs for teensCollege Admissions Course

Most teens need to start thinking about college early. This course helps students–both teens and parents learn about the college admissions process. They get tips and tricks for applying to college successfully.

Learn Programming Course

If your teen has any interest in computers, programming and web development is a great skill. Not only can teens use this for their personal use (building their own website or for school) but they can also list programming on their resume. The course, Become a Web Developer from Scratch is an introductory course so kids do not need any previous experience. It will also give them a new perspective on how the Internet works and after they will be able to create their own websites and apps for another resume building activity.

Be An Entrepreneur

Does your teen have a business idea? This course talks about first steps for start-ups and how to start a business. Dave Mcclure a mogul entrepreneur talks about how to raise money for a business. No matter what industry or job your teen decides to do, learning how to raise and ask for money is essential.

teen summer activities, teen jobs, teen internship, teen resume, teen activity ideas, online courses for teens, online programs for teens, summer programs for teens

Photoshop

Does your teen love taking photographs or are they interested in going into PR, design or fashion? Learning and understanding how to use photoshop is essential. This course will show teens how to use photoshop so they can add the skill to their resume.

Make Your Own Game

Teens love online games. This course helps teens learn how to make their own game from scratch. Not only is this a great way to challenge your teens (building a game is way more powerful than just playing a game), but also if they are interested in the video game industry, this is a great way for them to practice and get skills to list on their resume.

How to Produce Your Own Music

Do you have a musician or singer? Teens can spend the summer making,writing and publishing their own songs in Garage Band. This course teaches you the basics of making music in Garage Band–which is a relatively cheap and easy way for a teen to apply their musical talents this summer.

teen summer activities, teen jobs, teen internship, teen resume, teen activity ideas, online courses for teens, online programs for teens, summer programs for teens

Novel Writing Workshop

If your teen loves to write, they should consider trying to pen their own novel this summer. This will be great writing experience for them and flex their creative muscles. Not to mention how awesome a young writer looks to colleges and jobs. Encouraging your teen to do a novel will also help them get lost in their imagination–better than getting lost on the couch in front of the TV!

  • Young Adult Fiction Writing: If they are interested in writing Young Adult Fiction, this course is specifically for writers interested in that genre of writing.

Public Speaking 101

Everyone, no matter what they want to do in life should learn how to public speak. If your teen wants to push themselves have them take this course on public speaking–and maybe even sign up for a local toastmasters group to practice.

Learn Microsoft Excel

Microsoft is a great tool for teens to add to their resumes! This course is for beginning and intermediate excel users and can help teens become knowledgable in excel which is needed for almost any workplace. The training explains Microsoft Excel starting with the absolute basics. The teacher slowly works students up through learning the various capabilities of the program, and covers basic to advanced formula and functions. You can also download the working files that allow you to work alongside the teacher.

  • Powerpoint: They might also consider this course on Powerpoint, which they can use for school or work and add to resumes.
  • Microsoft Word: Word is another application that teens use all the time for school–in both High School and College. The tricks in this course can give them an edge on school projects and in the workplace.

Cake Decorating 101

This course is simply fun–or maybe will inspire your teen to want to be a baker! This course is all about cake decorating and teens can practice their skills in the comfort of their kitchen and you get the benefit of being an official taster. Cake decorating encourages creativity and imagination (and certainly can win you a lot of friends who need to come over and taste your creations). This is also a way for teens to make a little extra money if they can decorate children’s birthday cakes.

Magician: How to Do Card Magic

If your teen wants a fun hobby, maybe they should consider learning how to do card magic. This can be a fun side activity for them to try and impress friends.

summer ideas, online courses for teens, online programs for teens, summer ideas for teens
These courses are teen approved by our teen interns!

Learn How to Make an iPad or iPhone App

Teens love their phones and apps are very popular right now. Can your teen think of something that they wish they had as an app? In this course, the teacher explains the basics of apps so teens can program one themselves. This is an amazing way for a teen to get hands on experience and add an interesting story to their resume or college application. Who knows it could even be a money maker?!

Speed Reading

I am not always a fan of speed reading, but for slow readers or students who are going to take a lot of English classes in college, speed reading can be a great skill to have. This course will teach teens how to speed read almost any kind of book and help them get in the habit of reading more not less.

Play the Ukulele

For $25 your teen can be an expert Ukulele player. It might seem silly, but playing any kind of instrument is great for a teen’s brain and is a much better summer activity than playing video games.

Computer Repair

Many parents and teens joke that the computer fixer in the house is the youngest person in the house. Is your teen the one who fixes all of your devices? Maybe it is time to consider making that a resume-listable skill. This course will teach your teen how to repair computers. This is great for resumes and a wonderful way for your teen to make a little side business to make extra money after school.

Learn Portuguese

If you have a teen who loves language, maybe they want to consider picking up the basics of a new language over the summer to add to their resume.

ACT Math

If your teen is starting the test prep process this online course will help them in ACT math in a visual way–much more than a book. If they need help with other standardized tests, try these resources:

How to Score A Job 

This course helps teens who are looking for jobs or internships. They will get an extra edge from some of the topics to help them build a resume and contact recruiters. In this economy we could all use a little help!

Exam Excellence

Unfortunately teens need to know how to ace exams. Is there more to rocking an exam than just studying? This course teaches students how to best take an exam no matter what the material. A great skill for college!

Some Other Fun and Random Courses Your Teens Can Take This Summer:

Building Your Teen’s Resume

By the way we mention building a teen’s resume a lot in this post. If your teen has not started their resume, this is the perfect time to get them started! This book has the basics of starting your resume both online and offline: The Everything Resume Book: From Using Social Media to Choosing the Right Keywords, All You Need to Have a Resume That Stands Out From the Crowd! (Everything Series)  By Lin Grensing-Pophal

  • How to Set Goals: You can also check out this course on how to set goals to get your teen motivated!

Tags: teen summer activities, teen jobs, teen internship, teen resume, teen activity ideas, online courses for teens, online programs for teens, summer programs for teens