Raising a teen is no easy feat. And helping them become a strong, empowered, and driven citizen of the world is not for the faint of heart. Fortunately, you are not entirely on your own. Some wise words, sage advice, and expert tips can help them grow into fierce and flexible individuals with bold opinions, open hearts, and enthusiastic minds. Of course, to unleash this potential you will first have to convince your adolescent kiddo to pick up a book. Think you are up for the challenge? Think they are ready for the encouragement? We’ve rounded up the best motivational books for teens that can inspire creativity, spark gratitude, and foster confidence.
You Don’t Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way, by Laya Saul
Author Layla Saul wants to be the “aunt” teens turn to with questions they don’t necessarily want to ask their parents. And the topics in this book are certainly not tame or subtle or coded. Rather, Saul approaches tough territory, giving teenagers the tools to face issues like sex, abuse, drugs, peer pressure, and more. This is a great option to read with your kid — or, you know, together, but individually. Saul helps teens find simple but effective tactics and empowers them with digestible nuggets of worldly knowledge.
Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose, by Sadie Robertson
The author, a Dancing with the Stars alumnus, identifies with the struggles young people face today. She knows they can feel insignificant or even invisible — and, so, through her writing, she strives to help readers put aside self-doubt and embrace joy, connection, and acceptance. Teens who love this book will also enjoy her follow-up, Live: Remain Alive, Be Alive at a Specified Time, Have an Exciting or Fulfilling Life. It is worth noting that there are some religious undertones; Robertson elaborates on her strong faith and Christianity, and takes the stance that God creates each individual to be uniquely themselves.
The Ultimate Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens, by Megan MacCutcheon
Nobody said being a teen is easy. Navigating relationships, overcoming self-esteem issues, and managing the highs and lows of high school (oof) are par for the tumultuous course. This book can help young people plot out their paths and workshop their feelings through activities, anecdotes, and other practical prompts. If your teen is not an enthusiastic reader per se, this option is both interactive and engaging.
Brave: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety, by Sissy Goff
Anxiety and adolescence often goes hand in hand. But that does not mean that teenager girls should have to learn to live with that doubting voice in their heads. This book — chock-full of practical nuggets and useful tactics — can help young women identify self-criticism and worry, then see their situation in a different, better, and more forgiving light. (Couldn’t we all benefit from that kind of clarity and kindness?)
A Year of Positive Thinking for Teens, by Katie Hurley
Don’t think you can get your teenager to read a whole self-help book? How about one that breaks down motivation into digestible daily tidbits? Rather than overwhelm them with a wealth of advice, this option offers day-by-day pockets of practical wisdom that youngsters can apply to their day, their week, their month, and then the whole year ahead. Loaded with quotes and affirmative messaging, this book helps teenagers find self-improvement in a cumulative and approachable way.
Whether you want to be proactive in your parenting approach, or need to find inspiring and practical guidance for a young person who is struggling, these self-help books for teens may be able to help. Read them together or separately, and let them be a jumping-off point for conversation. It certainly is not easy being an adolescent in today’s pressure-filled world, and, while your love and acceptance is the most important thing you can offer a child, these books can give you both new tools and savvy tips to change your perspective and motivate positive change.
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