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The 50 Greatest Self-Help Books

Best Self Help Books






Parenting Self Help Books: Teenagers

Parents with young children shake their heads when confronted with parenting challenges, and worry about “the teen years.” While these years often bring problems and stresses, they also offer parents the opportunity to enjoy their children as young adults-in-training, with one foot in the world of childhood, and one foot in the adult world. Continue reading article on Parenting: Teenagers»

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The recommended self help books listed below offer a wide range of ideas and guidance for negotiating this important time in our children’s lives.

See also: Communication Skills; Men's Issues; Women's Issues; Sexuality and Sex Education; Family Issues; Blended Family

Best Self Help Books on Parenting: Teenagers

The Balanced Mom: Raising Your Kids without losing Your Self by Bria SimpsonHelp Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder by James Lock, Daniel le Grange"These are the self help books on Parenting: Teenagers I recommend most frequently."
David Yarian, Ph.D.





More Recommended Self Help Books on Parenting: Teenagers

All Grown Up and No Place to Go by David ElkindAll Grown Up and No Place to Go: Teenagers in Crisis
David Elkind

This self help book spotlights the pressures on teenagers to grow up quickly and the resulting problems, ranging from common alienation to self-destructive behavior. Quoting teenagers themselves, Elkind shows why adolescence is a time of thinking in a new key, and how young people need this time to get used to the social and emotional changes their new thinking brings. The book helps parents to understand teens in crucial ways because the root of so many adolescent frictions is the gap between what teenagers need and what our culture provides. 1997, Perseus Books


The Balanced Mom by Bria SimpsonThe Balanced Mom: Raising Your Kids Without Losing Your Self
Bria Simpson

You can be a great mom and still have a life of your own. Your kids will only benefit from seeing you as a whole person and will develop greater independence and a stronger sense of who they are as people. This self help book offers dozens of simple tips to help you maintain strong relationships with your kids and live your life in ways that reflect your true values. 2006, New Harbinger


Between parent and Teenager by Haim GinottBetween Parent and Teenager
Haim Ginott

This valuable self help book continues to be one of the most useful books for parents who want to communicate more effectively with their teenagers. Ginott describes common- sense solutions for parents who are having difficulty understanding and communicating with their teenagers. The book also usefully addresses parents’ greatest challenge: to let go when they want to hold on. 1988, Avon Books


Behond the Big Talk by Debra Haffner and Alyssa TartaglioneBeyond the Big Talk: Every Parent's Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Teens from Middle School to High School and Beyond
Debra Haffner and Alyssa Tartaglione

The authors urge parents to keep the lines of communication constantly open with their children and to utilize "teachable moments" rather than having the one traditional "big talk" about sex. The book includes sections on early, middle, and later adolescent development. The discussion of birth control points out that parents can discourage kids from having sex while at the same time advocating safe sex. This self help book also addresses internet use, sexual harassment, and body image concerns. 2002, New Market Press

Pick of the Month Self Help BookThis book was a Pick of the Month Self Help Book! Read David's full Book Review.


Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul by Jack Canfield et.al.Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
Jack Canfield et.al.

This self help book contains stories, poems, and cartoons relating to the specific troubles that traumatize teenagers everywhere. Much of the book is written by teens themselves which gives it a very accessible and informal tone. The book is always respectful and does not minimize any of the dramas of adolescence. It contains important lessons on the nature of friendship and love, the importance of belief in the future, and the value of respect for oneself and others. 1997, HCI Teens


Everything you Never Wanted Your Kids to Know about Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask) by Richardson and SchusteEverything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child's Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens
Justin Richardson and Mark Schuste

Acknowledging that kids are inherently sexual (male fetuses, for example, have erections in utero), professors Richardson and Schuster show how parents can influence their children's sexual development in healthy ways through honest communication. They walk readers through the development of an average girl and boy, from infant seeds of sexuality to teenager's first experience of intercourse, and fearlessly cover topics from toddler sex play to dating, love, homosexuality, masturbation, birth control, STDs and pregnancy. Thoroughly researched, extremely well written and chock-full of personal stories from parents, this self help "survival guide" should be required reading for any parent who believes in being open about these touchy issues. 2004, Three Rivers Press


For Lesbian Parents by Suzanne Johnson, Elizabeth O'ConnorFor Lesbian Parents: Your guide to Helping Your Family Grow Up Happy, Healthy, and Proud
Suzanne M. Johnson, Elizabeth O'Connor

The authors, both developmental psychologists, are co-parenting two daughters. Their book offers help on explaining lesbianism to children and explores what lesbian parents can do to help children explain their family situation to their peers. This self help book also addresses the complexity of dealing with the attitudes of the outside world, including relatives, school, and doctors or mental health specialists. 2001, The Guilford Press


Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder by James Lock, Daniel le GrangeHelp Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder
James Lock, Daniel le Grange

The authors emphasize the need for parents to take immediate action in obtaining help for their teens and not to dwell on the "why." This comprehensive self help book summarizes recent research and moves on to help parents understand eating disorders, looking at the distorted thinking behind a teenagers behavior and what the research says about the best ways to treat anorexia and bulimia. 2005, The Guilford Press


My Teen Has Had Sex, Now What Do I Do? by Lyon and AntoniadesMy Teen Has Had Sex, Now What Do I Do?: How to Help Teens Make Safe, Sensible, Self-Reliant Choices When They've Already Said "Yes"
Maureen E. Lyon and Christina Breda Antoniades

My Teen Has Had Sex, Now What Do I Do? gives parents unvarnished advice on how to deal with the myriad of parenting issues and concerns having a sexually active teen entails, including health risks such as STD’s and pregnancy, disciplinary and boundary issues, heightened emotional vulnerability, and sexual peer pressure.  Sample dialogues and scenarios help parents deal with common situations such as setting boundaries around sexual activity in the house, what to do if your child’s partner is of legal age, and what your (and your child’s) legal rights are around getting birth control and medical information.  Parents also get advice on what signs to look for and what actions to take if their child is engaging in risky sexual behavior, including multiple partners or submitting to sexual pressure from peers or online.  Most importantly, parents learn how to coach their children to be responsible, savvy, and accountable for their sexual decisions. 2009, Fair Winds Press


Parenting a Bipolar Child by Nancy B. Austin, Gianni L. FaeddaParenting a Bipolar Child: What to Do And Why
Nancy B. Austin, Gianni L. Faedda

The authors of this self help book, specialists in mood disorders, offer a comprehensive overview of the available treatment options and most effective parenting strategies for dealing with children diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This self help book offers advice on parental self-care and integrating the care of the bipolar child with the needs of the rest of the family. 2006, New Harbinger


Reviving Ophelia by Mary PipherReviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
Mary Pipher

At adolescence, says Mary Pipher, “girls become ‘female impersonators’ who fit their whole selves into small crowded spaces.” Many lose spark, interest, and even IQ points as a “girl-poisoning” society forces a choice between being shunned or staying true to oneself and struggling to stay within a narrow definition of female. She offers prescriptions for changing society and compassionate strategies with which to revive adolescent girls’ lost sense of self. 2005, Riverhead Trade


S.E.X. by Heather CorinnaS.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College
Heather Corinna

Have you ever wondered . . . Am I normal? (and what is "normal," anyway?) What's up down there? I really like girls, but I like boys sometimes, too. Am I gay, bisexual, or just messed up? Are we both really ready to have sex? Is it ok if I masturbate? I feel like I can't ever say no to my partner. What's the problem? Heather Corinna has been providing sex education and information for young adults, parents, and mentors for nearly ten years. Whether you're straight, gay, sexually active, or just plain curious, S.E.X. spells out everything you need to know. 2007, Da Capo Press


Sexuality Talking PointsSexuality Talking Points
Melanie J. Davis

This downloadable ebook is the perfect guide for parents who want to raise sexually aware and confident children. Sexuality Talking Points includes engaging text, illustrations and exercises to help parents clarify the sexual values and information they want to discuss with their children. Talking Points are conversation starters that help parents nurture their kids into becoming sexually healthy adults. 2011, Melanie J. Davis


When Parents Disagree and What You Can Do About It by Ron TaffelWhen Parents Disagree and What You Can Do About It
Ron Taffel

This self help book is a hands-on practical guide to understanding child rearing differences between parents and how to work through conflicts arising from these. It is filled with real life examples from Dr. Taffel's practice and offers practical and reasonable guidance that helps both parents feel that they are, after all, on the same side. 2002, The Guilford Press


You and Your Adolescent by Steinberg and LevineYou and Your Adolescent: A Parent's Guide for Ages 10-20
Laurence Steinberg and Ann Levine

This self help book debunks a number of popular myths: adolescents are inherently difficult, peer pressure is evil, and the nuclear family is in decline. Age-appropriate chapters discuss physical health, psychological development, and socialization skills; an introductory section describes the characteristics of a “good parent.” Resources include guidance on talking about drugs, sexually transmitted diseases, peer pressure, and puberty. By taking the mystery out of adolescence, the authors aid parents in making their teenagers’ development a period of satisfying growth toward adulthood. 1997, HarperResource


Parenting Self Help Resources