Buy One, Get One 50% Off Our Monthly Picks!
Shop Now
The Grown-Up's Guide to Teenage Humans: How to Decode Their Behavior, Develop Unshakable Trust, and Raise a Respectable Adult

The Grown-Up's Guide to Teenage Humans: How to Decode Their Behavior, Develop Unshakable Trust, and Raise a Respectable Adult

by Josh Shipp


View All Available Formats & Editions


Nautilus Gold Award Winner: Parenting & Family

A practical guide to understanding teens from bestselling author and global youth advocate Josh Shipp.

In 2015, Harvard researchers found that every child who does well in the face of adversity has had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult. But Josh Shipp didn’t need Harvard to know that. Once an at-risk foster kid, he was headed straight for trouble until he met the man who changed his life: Rodney, the foster parent who refused to quit on Shipp and got him to believe in himself.

Now, in The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans, Shipp shows all of us how to be that caring adult in a teenager’s life. Stressing the need for compassion, trust, and encouragement, he breaks down the phases of a teenage human from sixth to twelfth grade, examining the changes, goals, and mentality of teenagers at each stage.

Shipp offers revelatory stories that take us inside the teen brain, and shares wisdom from top professionals and the most expert grown-ups. He also includes practice scripts that address tough issues, including:

  • FORGIVENESS: What do I do when a teen has been really hurt by someone and it’s not their fault?
  • COMMUNICATION: How do I get a teen to talk to me? They just grunt.
  • TRUST: My teen blew it. My trust is gone. Where do we go from here?
  • BULLYING: Help! A teen (or their friend) is being harassed.

Written in Shipp’s playfully authoritative, no-nonsense voice, The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans tells his story and unpacks practical strategies that can make a difference. Ultimately, it's not about shortcuts or magic words—as Shipp reminds us, it’s about investing in kids and giving them the love, time, and support they need to thrive.

And that means every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062654069
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/19/2017
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Josh Shipp helps adults understand teens and teens understand themselves. He is a global youth empowerment expert and an acclaimed speaker. He has appeared on MTV, Lifetime, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, FOX, 20/20, Good Morning America, and in the New York Times and other media. A former at-risk foster kid turned youth advocate, he is renowned for his documentary TV series that followed his groundbreaking work with teens. His organization, One Caring Adult, produces resources and training events for parents, educators, and caring adults. 

Table of Contents

Author's Note xv

Introduction: Every Kid Needs a "Rodney" xvii

Part 1 The Three Key Mindsets

Mindset #1 Teens Need You More Than It Seems 3

Mindset #2 The Game Has Changed and So Must You 17

Mindset #3 You'll Want and Need Help 39

Part 2 The Phases of a Teenage Human

Ages 11-12 The "Who Likes Me?" Phase 69

Ages 12-14 The "Who Am I?" Phase 73

Ages 14-15 The "Where Do I Belong?" Phase 77

Ages 15-16 The "Why Can't I?" Phase 81

Ages 16-17 The "How Can I Matter?" Phase 85

Ages 17-18 The "What Will I Do?" Phase 89

Part 3 Troubleshooting Common Teenage Challenges

Relationship and Communication Challenges 95

Getting Them to Take Ownership and Apologize 99

What to Do When They Blow Your Trust 109

Setting Up Clearly Written House Rules 115

How to Improve Communication with Your Teen 125

Difficult and Awkward Conversations 131

How to Talk to Your Teen About Sex 135

How to Talk to Your Teen About Death 143

How to Convince Your Teen to Get Help 147

Dangerous or Concerning Behavior 155

Seven Warning Signs Every Parent Must Know 159

I'm Worried My Teen Has an Eating Disorder 161

I'm Worried My Teen is Acting Out in Anger 167

I'm Worried My Teen is Using Drugs 177

I'm Worried My Teen Is Sexting 187

I'm Worried My Teen Is Cutting 193

I'm Worried My Teen Is Stressed Out 197

Teens and Tech Headaches 203

Healthy Boundaries Around Screen Time 207

Helping Them Think About What They Post Online 213

Helping Them Understand the Harmful Effects of Pornography 219

Helping Them Deal with Cyberbullies 227

School and Education Challenges 235

How to Think About School and Education 241

How to Help Your Teen Succeed in the New Economy 251

How to Respond to a Bad or an Unfair Teacher 257

Helping Them Deal with Bullies 267

In Closing: Your Voice Mattes More Than You Know 275

Resources from Josh

The Seven Things Every Teen Needs to Hear 279

Twenty-One Ways to Ask Your Teen "How Was School Today?" Without Asking Them "How Was School Today?" 281

Forty-Two Ways to Connect with Your Teen 283

The Letter Your Teenager Can't Write You (Yet) 287

Teen Cell Phone Contract 289

Work With Josh 293

Acknowledgments 295

Notes 297

Customer Reviews