3 Books To Prepare Your Teen For The Real World

When it comes to raising teens, we could all use a little help. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-timer or a 20-year-vetaran. Each teen, while similar in instability, passion, and the need to push the envelope of their limitations, are also individuals. What worked for one, may not necessarily work for the next.

Surrounded by all of these challenges, it’s no surprise that even the most capable parent would pick up a book (or three) to give some insight on the best ways to raise your child.

How can we be sure we’re doing all we can to prepare out children for life outside of the home? There are so many issues that our kids will one day have to face as adults, but also things happening right now during their teen years. Even with all of our experience, it’s impossible to prepare them for every scenario they could ever come across.

So then, what can we do?

It’s all in where we put the focus. Instead of trying to ready them for each individual experience, the best we can do is concentrate on raising balanced, considerate, and discerning youths that are confident in their own ability to problem-solve and overcome obstacles. Teens able to make smart decisions grow into adults capable of taking on the world and its challenges.

When it comes to communicating and raising teens ready to take on the world, there are three books you should take a look at.

Do Hard Things

Do Hard Things
(By: Alex & Brett Harris )

This book is written by teens for teens. It challenges today’s youth to join what they call a “rebelution” against what’s currently being said about the laziness of the current generation. By “doing hard things” they hope to prove that they’re just as capable and full of potential as any other generation.

The twin brothers include scripture and keep a religious tone through the book, but it’s still been lauded as a book worth reading for anyone.

Even though it’s written for teens, it’s recommended parents give it a read to get in the mindset of what ambitious teens are doing, and help get some ideas in how they can communicate with their own teen and get them excited about doing things with their life.

Review Excerpts

“Alex and Brett capture the passion and potential of our generation perfectly in this book. In Do Hard Things they encourage us to go above and beyond the status quo in everything from schoolwork to serving the poor. This is a truly unique and sorely needed book.”

– Zach Hunter, author of Be the Change and Generation Change

“Do Hard Things is the textbook for anyone who works with teens; it’s a philosophical and foundational must-read.”

– Timothy Eldred, executive director of Christian Endeavor International

Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!

Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!
(By: Michael J. Bradley )

Where Do Hard Things quotes scripture, Yes, Your Teen is Crazy! is written by a psychologist that bases his arguments on current brain research. Be warned this book also uses strong language. He argues that the still developing parts of the adolescent’s brain results in their instability and impassioned behavior, and that this behavior should be treated with the same care and consideration as any other affliction.

Presenting facts along with hilarious anecdotes, he’s written a book any parent could benefit from.

Review Excerpts

If your teenager had a serious case of the flu, you would be sympathetic and helpful. When the same teenager acts in ways you disagree with, are you inclined to be unsympathetic and challenging? Dr. Bradley argues in this intriguing book that your reaction should be very similar. Both are usually natural occurrences of body dysfunctions from which your teen will recover.

– Donald Mitchell,­ Amazon Review

Memorize it and practice Dr. Bradley's suggestions until they become your first reaction to the teenage craziness around you. I don't say this casually. I say this because I know, for a fact, what Bradley says works.

– RLF, Amazon Review

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
(By: Sean Covey )

As mentioned, the key to preparing your teen for the real world is making sure they’re as effective as possible. To that end, this book lists seven habits that help your teen with both self-esteem and success.

The book is not only filled with cartoons, quotes, and a number of other things to keep the interest and amusement of a teenager, but is filled with some timeless advice any parent can get behind. The seven habits he encourages are:

  • Be proactive and take responsibility for your life
  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Put first things first and prioritize
  • Think win/win
  • Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  • Synergize
  • Sharpen the saw

How can any parent be against any of these? Together they help your teen put together a plan for their goals, to be sincere in their consideration of others, and to make sure that instead of blaming anyone else for shortcomings, they learn to take responsibility. It’s an amazing thing when your teen learns that when their failures are their own, they have greater control over their successes. Little enthuses them more.

Highly recommend this book for both teens and parents alike.

Review Excerpts

“I highly recommend the simple, straight forward advice provided in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens book to teenagers, young adults, and their parents. You’ll hear new perspectives on how to improve your relationships and leadership skills that will positively impact your life, resulting in greater happiness…. And more than that—you will be able to do it and be successful at anything you choose to do. I have personally read it and practiced the timeless principles with my daughters.”

– Diana Thomas, U.S. vice president of training, learning & development, McDonalds Corporation

"Growing up isn’t easy, but with the help of Sean Covey’s book, young adults can learn to navigate through this awkward time and come out on the other side as a highly effective adult."

– Erin Gruwell, Founder of Freedom Writers Foundation and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Freedom Writers Diary

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | Linkedin

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