In another life, I worked with teenagers of various backgrounds and settlings, from the inner city to the suburbs. Parents would approach me as though I were some kind of an expert. I started to view myself that way as well. Then, I had my children of my own! That is when I started digging into the following good reads.
1. Parenting with Love and Logic, Foster Cline
Every mom or dad has bad parenting moments. It’s usually when we lapse into a battle of wills. This book confronts our tendency to leverage power and emotion rather than to practice the principles of good coaching.
2. How to Really Love Your Child, Ross Campbell
Modern classic. I knew Dr. Campbell and had great respect for him. His book will be a guide for generations to come about the “Both-And” needs of teens: both empathy and boundaries. Truth is, they also want both, even when they don’t know it or show it.
3. Stepping up, Dennis Rainey
Rainey’s latest may be his best. It’s a great template for dads to lead their families intentionally.
4. Bringing up Boys, James Dobson
Dobson’s book provides a course correction to the trend that clamped down too hard on boyhood. This volume caught fire and sparked a whole slew of others to engage the topic, including…
5. Wild Things, Stephen James
In addition to Dobson’s book, this one helps moms appreciate what is “normal” boy behavior and shows dads how to guide it.
6. Hurt, Chap Clark
Chap takes a look at the way many kids are affected by human systems and institutions when they fail to function well. Family, church, and school can become unsafe environments for a kids as they ask the big questions: “Who am I?”, “Am I loved?”, “Where is life headed for me?” Chap enables parents to plug in.
7. Age of Opportunity, Paul David Tripp
Tripp encourages parents to keep parenting through the teen years. Too many parents back off too soon. His chapter, “Small Steps to Big Change” is particularly encouraging.
8. Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle, Fred Stoeker
Stoeker has a series of similar titles. This book is designed for fathers and sons to read together so that they may talk with ease about about sex, the most intimidating of topics in most families.
9. Rise of the Servant Kings, Ken Harrison
Good guide for father-son discussion and rites of passage.
10. Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher
Provides great insight about the unique, modern pressures of adolescent girls.