Middle School Parents Need all the Help They can Get!
I mostly love middle schoolers. In my job I get to work with middle schoolers and I also happen to live with one.
But let’s be honest- middle schoolers are a tricky breed of human! Half child/ half adult…they want their independence yet they still really need their parents. They are trying to navigate friendships and figure out what they are good at all while undergoing some major physical and emotional changes. Sounds like a recipe for disaster!
Yet middle school can also be a delightful time. Along with the complicated parts of a half adult/half child, you also get all the fun stuff of both worlds combined.
How do we help these kids steer successfully through middle school? We help them by educating ourselves!
10 Books to Help you Ace Parenting a Middle Schooler
When life throws complications your way, arm yourself with knowledge! Here are my suggestions for books all parents of middle schoolers should read (in no particular order):
1 – Queen Bees & Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman. This is a must read for anyone with a preteen/ teenage daughter. This book does a great job explaining the culture of girls and how to help your daughter navigate it.
2 – Getting to Calm by Laura S. Kastner, Ph.D. This book does a great job of explaining how our behavior as parents can unintentionally make the teenage problems worse! This is kind of a “back to the basics” book that would be helpful if you are trying to establish or reestablish limits and build a closer relationship with your teen.
3 – How to Talk so Teens Will Listen & Listen so Teens Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. This same team wrote a similar book about parenting younger kids. There is a lot of great advice about ways to communicate and connect better with your teenager. I also really like the “cheat sheets” as quick and easy reminders of strategies to use.
4 – Yes Your Teen is Crazy! Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind by Michael J. Bradley. I love a book with a clever title. This book does a great job of explaining some of the science behind teenage brain development but is also very funny and real. The book is full of real life examples and gives parents some very specific guidance about ways to respond in difficult situations.
5 – Social Media Wellness by Ana Homayoun. This book is a fantastic resource for helping to teach your kids responsibility when it comes to technology. Helping your teens how to navigate social media is a huge undertaking!
6 – Untangled by Lisa Damour, Ph.D. This is another one for parents of girls. When you read this book, you will have a better understanding of how your teenage daughter might think and feel. More importantly, it will help you as her parent understand how to best support her and keep lines of communication open.
7 – Have a New Teenager by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman. This is another very practical real-life book. I loved the book Have a New Kid by Friday and this one is even better! Don’t plan on fixing everything in a few days, but this book is definitely packed full of great advice.
8 – Parenting Your Teen- A Relationship Training Manual by David Unger, Ph. D. This is a quick read and has lots of very practical usable advice. This book also has some humor which I always appreciate!
9 – A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens by Joani Geltman. This book addresses a lot of very specific topics such as sexting, online bullying, and depression. I like that it explains why things are problems and then gives practical suggestions for what to do about it. It’s easy to pick this book up to read about a specific topic when it comes up.
10 – Parenting Teens With Love and Logic by Jim Fay. Love and Logic is a fantastic parenting strategy that helps you to avoid power struggles with your kids and teaches them responsibility!