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Books & Resources for Parents

At DSST, we know our families and parents are vital partners in student success. We also know that kids, no matter their age, do not come with instruction manuals and that there are often many questions parents and caregivers have around their adolescent students. We asked DSST teachers, staff, and parents for their favorite resources to help answer some of the frequently asked questions about raising adolescents; check out this collection of their book recommendations and additional resources for families of middle and high school aged kids:


1. The Teenage Brain - Amy Ellis Nutt and Frances E. Jensen

Drawing on her research knowledge and clinical experience, this internationally respected neurologist—and mother of two boys—offers a revolutionary look at the adolescent brain, providing remarkable insights that translate into practical advice for both parents and teenagers.


2. Brainstorm - Daniel J. Siegel

If parents and teens can work together to form a deeper understanding of the brain science behind all the tumult, they will be able to turn conflict into connection and form a deeper understanding of one another.


3. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria - Beverly Daniel Tatum

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy?


4. The Boy Crisis - Warren Farrell & John Grey

What is the boy crisis? It's a crisis of education. Worldwide, boys are 50 percent less likely than girls to meet basic proficiency in reading, math, and science. It’s a crisis of mental health.


5. Untangled and Under Pressure - Lisa Damour, Ph.D.

Both of these books by Dr. Damour address the various stresses and developmental milestones that adolescent girls face including the rising tide in stress and anxiety, as well as the seven distinct—and absolutely normal—developmental transitions that turn girls into grown-ups. 


6. Dare to Lead - Brené Brown

Leadership is not about titles, status and power over people. Leaders are people who hold themselves accountable for recognising the potential in people and ideas, and developing that potential. This is a book for everyone who is ready to choose courage over comfort, make a difference and lead.


7. The End of Average - Todd Rose

The assumption that metrics comparing us to an average—like GPAs, personality test results, and performance review ratings—reveal something meaningful about our potential is so ingrained in our consciousness that we don’t even question it. That assumption, says Harvard’s Todd Rose, is spectacularly—and scientifically—wrong. 


8. The Leadership Challenge - Barry Posner and James Kouzes

Based on Kouzes and Posner's extensive research, this all-new edition casts their enduring work in context for today's world, proving how leadership is a relationship that must be nurtured, and most importantly, that it can be learned.


9. Queen Bees and Wannabes, and Masterminds and Wingmen - Rosalind Wiseman 

Queen Bees and Wannabes is a compelling read for parents, daughters, and anyone invested in the social machinations of teens today.

Masterminds and Wingmen creates a new language and analytical framework to understand the power of boys’ social hierarchies and how these influence their decision-making and emotional well-being. 


10. Surviving Your Child’s Adolescence - Carl Pickhardt

Does it sometimes seem like your teenager is trying to push you over the edge? Learn what your child is going through and what you can do to help your teen navigate this difficult period in this practical guide from psychologist and parenting expert Carl Pickhardt.


Parents, are you wondering what all the talk is about SEL and social-emotional skills? Chances are you’re already doing a lot to support your child with these skills, so keep reading to make additional connections about what it is, why it’s important, and what resources you can turn to if you’re interested in doing more. 

Homes and their surrounding communities are ripe with opportunities for social-emotional learning growth. This type of highly personalized learning allows families to utilize students’ strengths as SEL superpowers and fill in gaps that emerge in everyday life, empowering students to independently apply these lessons as needed.

12 Tips for supporting your kid’s mental health

As a parent or caregiver, you want the best for your children or other dependents. You may be concerned or have questions about certain behaviors they exhibit and how to ensure they get help.