7 Strategies for Highly Successful Teens

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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!

Best Parenting Books for Parents of Tweens

best-parenting-book-badge1We love supporting authors and readers and we have selected our top five books for parents:

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.

Simplicity 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 of All Ages:

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? 

Snapchat: A Teen’s Perspective

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 8.34.04 AMFolasade is a 16-year-old from Monroe, Louisiana. She enjoys learning as much as possible from techniques in swimming and tennis to new math formulas. She feels communication is only heard through the arts and enjoys all forms from water painting to writing.

What Is Snapchat?

Snapchat, an iOS and Android app since 2011, has recently been catching they eyes of the youth with its signature ghost. It is an app that can send pictures, but they disappear after ten seconds or less. All you do is “Take a Snap, Set the Timer, and Pick a Friend or a Stranger”. This app allows people to communicate with a picture, caption, and a drawing.

Why Is Snapchat Popular with Teens:

Teenagers just can’t get enough of this app. Just recently it has been a booming necessity to the day-to-day life of a teenager. The fact that teens can send selfies and not get judged is just a blessing (since that is what the app’s for… right?) Now with Snapchat’s new update, you can instantly change a photo to sepia, black and white, or negative! Who wouldn’t want to send a picture like that? Well these functions are only for those extreme snapchatters because you need the *“secret code”. Aside from the new effects, teens can spunk up a picture with the all new colors available. Even though it has been around for two years it’s just getting popular. Teens get to communicate by just sending a picture instead those complicates abbreviations and emojiis #hardwork. Not only is it rampant in the lives of teenagers, but also in adults’ lives too. It’s so easy to send a picture and five words and keep on moving.

Pros:

The major reason for this app is for the signature “disappearing”. The recipient can’t keep the picture for past the time limit. This is a great way to send fun pictures to friends that don’t necessarily need to be posted on Facebook or Instagram. However, since the picture vanishes some teens feel frisky and send nude pictures and videos. So it’d be a plus that the picture disappears and no one has it held over you to prove anything. Now teens feel they can send a naughty picture to their boy/girlfriend and not have a permanent remainder because on Snapchat the picture vanishes right before your eyes. Aside from the pictures, Snapchat even notifies you when someone’s opened your picture and what time exactly. With these quick snaps of your life people can connect in an easier way to keep up with friends.

Cons:

Entering the “Snapchat World” does not disable Screenshots. Therefore, if you just send someone a nude pic, it can easily be saved onto their phone. Snapchat does notify you when someone screenshots your picture too. But that doesn’t mean it is going to be deleted on the other person’s phone. Of course friends snapchat each other, but random people you don’t know can send a picture of who knows what.

What Parents Can Do About Snapchat:

Parents can inform their children about how the pictures sent can always be screenshot. Informing teens about the feasible privacy settings would also be a benefit. It asks whether to receive snaps from everyone in the “Snapchat World” or just your friends. By only selecting friends doesn’t mean you can’t get friend requests from others. However, blocking and declining requests can be done with just a swipe, and Snapchat doesn’t even tell the other person they were blocked/ denied. Not only does eliminating the randos and creepers help, but also minimizing the time your teen allows people to see the picture can make it harder for others to screenshot it. It’s harder to take a screenshot in three seconds versus ten. Also just asking the question “Would you feel okay posting this picture on Facebook, Instagram, etc.” could help that teen draw a line to what they send in the “Snapchat World”.

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 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? 

An Encouraging Letter to American Parents

Advice for Parenting Teenagers: Help for A Teenage Break-UpThis article is by our resident school counselor at Radical Parenting. Check out her bio and other articles or submit a question at School Counselor’s Corner: Q&A with Dr. A.  

Is anyone else sick of hearing about what terrible parents we are?  How American children are poorly behaved, sugar-induced, self-serving, lost individuals, with little drive to do right?  With Chinese “tiger moms,” Finland’s high achievers, and superior French discipline all the rage in the media this past year, it’s a wonder our children manage to get their shoes on the right feet.  According to pop culture, Western parents should be ashamed of themselves.  We are obviously gluttonous, rude, lazy pushovers raising similar children, right?

Well, I am here to stand up for the American parent.  I am a psychologist, parent of 3, and work at an amazing school with children and their parents daily.  My opinion may not matter to many, but for what it’s worth, these are my observations about our above average American families.

American parents work hard.  We work hard at work, we work hard at home, and sometimes we work just so that our children can have the best.  And while sometimes that equates to material items, more often than not, our intention is to give them the best of opportunity.  We want our children to be pushed to their potential, but not over the edge; academically, socially, and spiritually.  We work so that our children can find inspiration and passion in experiences that you and I never dreamed of having at their ages.  All this while trying not to overschedule, maintain reasonable nutritional habits, and keep our family’s quality time intact despite their extracurricular activities.  We are incredibly involved, including the ever-neglected father, in the lives of our children and in the role modeling for our children.

We are good people trying to do right by our children and the world. We teach them good character and the importance of doing the right thing.  We teach them traits like integrity, generosity, and open-mindedness.  In a world where terrorism is all too real and frightening, we shield our children from the horror and try to convince them that the world is a good, kind place (but wear your seatbelt and don’t talk to strangers).  We teach them if we just practice tolerance and understanding, we can all get along and work together for a greater nation and a greater world.  We teach our kids to take care of the Earth and all that she grants us so that their children, our grandchildren, will get to a chance to grow up in a healthier environment.

Lastly, we teach them gratitude.  For all that we work for and give them, we want them to know that they are the lucky ones.  They are afforded opportunities and experiences only because of our sacrifices, but we can’t choose their destiny.  Their ultimate success will lie in their own hands and only with hard work, perseverance, and determination will they reach their own goals.  We will do anything and everything to give them the tools they need, but we can’t force them to use these gifts.

It is this kind of parenting, my friends, that has shaped our country.  Last I heard, the United States of America is still pretty well recognized as an internationally superpower, so we can’t be doing that badly.  Someone raised and educated our leaders and I’m pretty certain they were American parents.  So, while each country and generation degrades the next about how spoiled our children are, let them talk. The rest of us will continue to overindulge them with love, education, acceptance, and the capacity to think outside the box; to solve problems we don’t even know exist yet.  All I can say is that from my view, these kids aren’t doing so badly and consequently, maybe, just maybe, we deserve a small pat on the back.

This thought was confirmed as I sat listening to our valedictorian and salutatorian’s speeches at this year’s graduation.  They were emitting advice about not just following your dreams, but taking your dreams a step further and choosing to make an impact in this world; pushing themselves to choose greatness and in turn, making a positive change for the universe. Their words to each other are to reach for greatness and improve upon the life we have granted them.  Could it get any better?  I could not help but think, “Thank God for these kids.”  With all that we have worked to give them; they get it and they will do great things with it.  It is true that they are spoiled with opportunity and they are all the better for it.  These children are truly our future and unlike most people’s perspectives, this gives me great peace of mind.

So, hold fast American parents.  Here’s your “Attaboy!”  I know you are wondering if the sleepless nights rocking your infant, finishing that last minute project with your child, and worrying about your teenager’s whereabouts are worth it, but if these kids are any indication of our energy and efforts, the answer is clear.  Dig in, dig deep, and keep doing what your doing and take solace in knowing that we’re in this together.

15 Best Books for Young Adults and Tweens

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

Finding good young adult books is a challenge–but getting the right book can encourage young readers and make for great reading escapes. Here at Radical Parenting we want to review some of the best books for young adults and tween readers. We try to pick the best three in each category.

Why is it so important for young adults to read?

We love encouraging young adult readers and tween readers because we think books are the way to teach kids life lessons and provide a safe brain stimulating activity. Here are some other reasons to get the tween in your life a life-changing book:

  1. Tweens Learn Best From Stories: Young adult readers love to learn from characters in their books. Some of the best books out there (including the ones we chose below) have amazing moral lessons, life lessons and characters young adult readers can look up to. As tweens read they are able to put themselves in the shoes of the character and decide how they would make decisions. This is a great mental lesson.
  2. A Safe Activity for Young Adults: As long as the book is appropriate, I can’t quite think of a safer activity for young adults other than reading. During summer breaks or weekends, there is nothing better than helping a tween dive into a great book.
  3. Awesome Books Inspire Awesome Thinking: Books encourage imagination and brain stimulation far more than movies or Facebook. When a tween or young adult picks up a good book their creative juices flow and their imagination is active.

Top Books for Young Adult ReadersBest Books For Young Adults and Tweens

We always choose the best three books in a category and then have our favorites in each category, teen pick and runner ups below. Be sure to leave your favorites in the comments or if you have reviews on our best books for teens.

1. Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland

This is a wonderful book series for tweens and young adults. It is full of adventure and magic and works for both boy tweens and girl tweens as summer or fun reading. This book is great for young adults because it is the story of dragons and will entice lots of imagination and adventure.

2. Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins

This is a lovely and inspiring story for your young adult reader. Debbie is the main character of the story who takes readers along with her on her journey. This is for ages 10 and up and has won a Newbery award as well as the hearts of may tween readers.

3. Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer 

Hope Was Here is a story of a young girl in a small town. The touching tale will bring out the sappy in any reader. Another Newbery Honor book, tweens will feel inspired and take home lessons from Joan Bauer’s story of a young girl from Wisconsin.

Fiction Books for Young Adult ReadersBest Fiction Books for Young Adults and Tweens

If your tween is looking for an escape, these best fiction books are the way to go. The stories are fun and relatable and your young adult reader will love them.

1. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Of course, we had to list Harry Potter as one of the best series of all time. Be careful, your tween reader will get totally hooked to these books and you might not be able to pry them out of their hands! These are also great books to listen to on tape with tweens or kids in the car on road trips and vacations.

2.  The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson

This is a funny book of stories about misfits and all of their adventures. If you have a reader with a short attention span or a spunky attitude then this book by Barbara Robinson is for your young adult reader!

3. The Last Book In The Universe by Rodman Philbrick

This interesting book is set in the future and helps to get tween and young adult readers thinking about some bigger questions. What could happen in the future? How do we view reading? How do we value books? Great for both male and female readers The Last Book in the Universe is a great summer read.

Best Non-Fiction Self-Help Books for Young Adults and Tweens

Some tweens are looking for inspiration from their books. These non-fiction picks or self-help books for tweens can teach and inspire.

Non-Fiction Books for Tweens1. Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Hansen, Irene Dunlap

The Chicken Soup series are classics that will always resonate with readers–no matter what age. What I love about the Chicken Soup series is it uses real stories to inspire and teach lessons to kids and tweens.

2. Young Revolutionaries Who Rock by Dallas Jessup

This is a great “How-To Guide for Saving the World One Revolution at a Time” and sets out to inspire and motivate young tweens. Dallas Jessup is calling for youth activism and lays out grand plans in her fun book.

3. 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. This is a great how to book that parents and tweens can read together.

Runner-Ups: Best Books for Young Adults and Tweens

1.Be Confident in Who You Are by Annie Fox

Sometimes worrying about what other people think can hold you back from enjoying life and from making choices that reflect who you really are. This book can help you dial down your Opinion-ator and trust yourself more. Fox is a seasoned expert in everything teen, tween and kid and her books and stories really reach young readers.

2. Conversations with Teen Entrepreneurs: Success Secrets of the Younger Generation by Ben Cathers

If you have a young reader with an entrepreneurial spirit than give them some older teens and mentors to look up to! This book helps inspire and give tweens and young adults an accurate view into starting entrepreneurial endeavors.

3. 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.

Teen Pick: Best Book for Tweens and Young Adults

Here is one of our teen interns remembering which book was their favorite when they were a tween.

Holes by Louis Sachar

“I loved this book because not only was the story great, but it was thrilling and funny at the same time. Every tween has to read this book!” –Maggie, 15

Have you seen our other top picks? 

What are your favorite books for young adults and summer reading lists for tweens? Be sure to let us know!