The Approximate Parent: Book Highlights

Confused by thousands of parenting books and expert opinions on parenting teens? This book will get you more engaged and curious…and less worried about being the “perfect parent.”

This book is meant to live by your bedside throughout your child's adolescence. Read each chapter as your comes to bear directly on your life with your teen—and come back to it when you need to. This book will give you a lot to think about but it's structured specifically like the parenting approach it teaches: start exactly where you are and use what you can given where you're at…at that moment.

Do you have a teen in your house? Want to know what challenges are coming and why? The book offers a smart, elegant way of understanding the contexts of adolescent development in America—beyond all the “teen” stereotypes —helping you reach wise approximations of what to do in the hard situations with your particular teenager.

This book is a practice-based approach to parenting teens. It’s not about doing it “Right.” It’s about stumbling towards understanding—approximating the approach best suited to yourself, your teen, your circumstances and resources. It’s eminently practical because one size doesn’t fit all.

Learn what the latest neuroimaging studies reveal about how the adolescent brain develops and functions—and what to do with this information.

Find out how American teen identities are shaped—and often made deeply anxious—by constant access to digital mass media…and how to respond to the challenge.

You’ll read about the link between adolescent anxiety over status can hinder the healthy development of your teen’s identity.

Get the latest information on drug and alcohol use among adolescents and a powerful way to respond to your teenager about the challenges of drugs, alcohol and parties.

Learn what to do to help protect your teen’s wish and will to learn—and what gets in the way of the natural impulses of creativity, study and learning.

Find out how teens set up specific tests within the family as a way of getting help with developmental difficulties.

Understand the ethical dimension in parenting your teen and how to get across your values in a digital world competing for your teen’s attention.