Skip to main content

Good Books for Parents

Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager, Revised and Updated

While the basic issues of adolescence and the relationships between parents and their children remain much the same, today's teenagers navigate a faster, less clearly anchored world. Includes a new chapter on the Internet, a significantly modified section on drugs and drinking, and an added piece on gay teenagers.


Surviving Middle School: A Practical Guide For Parents Middle school offers many challenges for families. Here you will find practical, easy to implement solutions to these challenges, as well as tools to keep the connection with your child during these years. Preserving your relationship with your child is not only important to make it through the middle school years, but essential to being an effective parent during the next stage of adolescence, Teenagers.

Parents Guide to Surviving Middle School

Middle School is very different from elementary school, and your own Middle Schooler may be going through some significant changes as he or she adjusts to this new phase of life. These articles and resources can help smooth this transition for you and your child.

Surviving Your Child's Adolescence: Welcome to the Hard Half of Parenting

This is a series of blog posts about adolescence from Psychology Today, including one titled, "Adolescence and the Transition to Middle School" by Carl E. Pickhardt, Ph.D.

An excerpt: 

Middle school is a minefield of developmental challenges for students, a time when significant parental supervision and support must be given. Summarizing, here are ten steps parents can take to support a successful entry and passage through middle school.

1.Understand that middle school is not elementary school.
2.Identify and allay common entry fears of middle school.
3.Expect early adolescent changes in your child.
4.Supervise the completion of all homework.
5.Support learning to function in a large secondary system.
6.Declare your desire to be told about any social cruelty that occurs.
7.Inform your child about the normal changes that come with puberty.
8.Enroll your child in social circles outside of school.
9.Encourage the development of multiple sources of self-esteem.
10.Monitor and moderate the increased need for electronic communication (cell phone texting, computer messaging, and social networking.)

A Teacher's Perspective: 5 Truths About Middle Schoolers

Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide for Middle School by Ruth Culham

Here are some of the “truths” I’ve discovered about middle school students over the past thirty years, which have helped me understand students better and respect them more:

  1. They have a hard time remembering things. 
    They don’t remember to put their names on their papers even though they did this automatically in elementary school. They don’t remember where they put their papers, their backpacks, or that all-too-important permission slip. In fact, they remember hardly anything they consider mundane, no matter how desperately the adults in their lives wish they did. It doesn’t mean they aren’t learning. 
  2. They don’t like to do ordinary, repetitive tasks. 
    They detest homework for the sake of homework, formula-driven prompts, black-line masters designed to teach them things they already know. (Who can blame them?) They like to be occupied with work that matters to them. They like being active. In fact, they crave it. 
  3. They must talk to learn.  
    Talking is as essential to middle school students as breathing. In silent classrooms, students are cut off from one another and become bored and frustrated. In classrooms where talking is valued, the energy level is palpable. Talking is how middle school students process their world and make sense of it. 
  4. They adore technology.
    They “get it” in ways that we, as adults, never will. They will gladly show us what they know if given the opportunity to use computers, cell phones, iPods, interactive whiteboards, and on and on. If we find a way to make technology an integral part of our writing instruction, just imagine what our students might do.

Parenting and Technology

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. We offer the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational