Reading Room

Books to help you understand your tween and teen.

The Roller-coaster Years

by Charlene Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese • Broadway Books, 1997

While lots of books give parents assistance on infancy or the toddler/preschoolers years, the selection grows thinner as children age into adolescence. That's why we like The Roller-coaster Years. In this comprehensive guide, authors Charlene Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese provide a helpful examination and explanation of the many issues kids ages 10 to 15 face as they enter puberty. Like the title implies, this stage of childhood is often a wild ride full of highs and lows, but these authors provide a user-friendly guide that will help you better understand what your child is going through.

Here you’ll find invaluable information and tips on how to manage the button-pushing behavior kids demonstrate at this age: cursing, messy rooms, and so much more. Pick it up, you’ll find it an eye-opening read.


How to Talk So Teens Will Listen and Listen So Teens Will Talk
by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish • Collins Publisher, 2005 

When kids hit the tween years, confrontations are inevitable. It’s so easy to get frustrated by the way your child behaves that your response often makes matters worse. The question is, how do you provide your kids with the leadership and guidance they’ll need to weather the challenges of adolescence? Based on workshops they’ve held for parents and teens, Adel Faber and Elaine Mazlish present communication strategies that will help you communicate more effectively with your teen during adolescence.

What we like is how the authors give clear examples and specific wording to help address situations. They also help parents understand how kids hear our orders or remarks. The idea behind the book is to help parents and teens get along better and the authors do a good job giving both viewpoints. We think you’ll come away with better insights about yourself and your kid after reading this book.


Boundaries With Teens by Dr. John Townsend • Zondervan, 2006

Author John Townsend starts his book with this positive treatise: 

“Adolescence is not a bad patch to be lived through. Rather, adolescence is a good and necessary thing. Adolescence is helpful for your child and it is normal. The more you can see and experience this, the better your boundary-setting experience will be.” 

That said, what Townsend does throughout his book is to demonstrate the importance of creating — and adhering to — boundaries for your teen. Divided into four sections, the author explains why you need boundaries, your teen’s world, setting boundaries, and specific issues you’ll face with teens. In learning how to set boundaries that are healthy for both you and your child, you will help him learn responsibility for his actions, attitudes, and emotions and ultimately enable him to gain his independence.

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