I don’t know about you, but my bookshelves are full of ‘improving’ volumes, many of which have taught be valuable lessons and which I still refer to.
I enjoy having so much wisdom at my fingertips – even if I don’t follow the advice all the time – but what’s available for teenagers?
As it turns out, it’s a growing area with authors queuing up to offer guidance to our young people.
Here is my pick of the best:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers by Sean Covey. Sean’s dad Stephen famously published the groundbreaking The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, now a global bestseller. Sean’s book brings a special perspective to the same area especially for young people. Funny and fun to read, the advice is practical and welcome.
Chicken Soup For The Teenage Soul: Stories of Life, Love and Learning by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. This is another teen version of an adults’ classic. It sells itself as a handbook for surviving with your sanity and sense of humour intact. Like the original, some will find the chicken soup a bit on the yukky side, but there are some tasty nuggets in there too.
Dr Christian’s Guide to Growing Up by Dr Christian Jessen. Who can fail to be reassured by the charming presence of Dr Christian. While this is about the physical side of growing up, it covers wider issues of body image, mental health and sexuality. For a common-sense starting point for discussions, you can’t beat it.
Totally Me: The Teenage Girl’s Survival Guide by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout. This is billed as the ultimate survival guide for “smart girls who want to find their way and have fun doing it”. It’s the stand-out book in a crowded section. Readers say they enjoy the zippy and light-hearted tone and the emphasis on self esteem. It quickly becomes an essential reference book.
Blame My Brain by Nicola Morgan. Now in its third edition, this book was written to allow teenagers to understand their own brains. It shows what’s going on in kids’ heads, why and why it’s important. Easy to read, despite communicating complex ideas – it’ll help everyone understand each other better.
The Teenager’s Guide to Money by Jonathan Self. As the adults’ world seems to be doing a reasonably poor job of clearing up the financial mess it got into, maybe it’s time for young adults to prepare themselves for taking over. Being in charge of their own money is a start and this user-friendly guide will simply explain important things such as living on a budget and how a bank account works. It will help equip youngsters to make responsible financial decisions now and in the future.
How To Get What You Want by Nina Grunfield. Life coach Nina leads teenagers through ten sections adding up to a sensible and accessible guide to a fulfilling future. Areas covered include identity, focus, goals and confidence.