Recent Reads: A Parent's Guide to Understanding Teenage Brains by Mark Oestreicher

Parent's Guide To Teenage Brains

What the book's about: A Parent's Guide to Understanding Teenage Brains explores the daunting subject of adolescent brain development in a mere 68 pages. It's extremely practical in nature and targeted at the parents of teenagers. 

Why I read this book: As part of my coursework for my Master's in Youth Ministry Leadership degree from Huntington University, I took Adolescent Development with Steve Gerali. Since then, I've been fascinated by the subject of adolescent brain development and in particular, with its implications for the youth ministry world. Wanting to help parents better understand what's happening with their teens, I picked up this book. 

My favorite quotes from the book:

- "The primary goal of parenting a teenager is to raise an adult."  

- "A teenager who is never given meaningful responsibility can't be expected to be responsible." 

- "Parenting by control is not relational... If you forfeit engagement in an attempt to control certain desirable outcomes, you've squandered both your influence & your relationship." 

- "Adult faith is not concrete and simplistic, but complex and full of paradox." 

- "How can I best steward the opportunity I have to permanently shape my teenagers' brains?"

Thumbs up or thumbs down? Thumbs up.

Who I'd recommend this book for: Anyone who works with teens and, in particular, as this book's title suggests, parents. Because this book is short, it's the perfect book to give busy parents. While it certainly is not a comprehensive guide to the subject, it's a fantastic primer on it. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

Now Available!

A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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