Category Archives: Books

Millennials – Can They Learn to Fly without Their Helicopter?

Recently I had an interesting conversation with an IT executive about his technical staff, and we ended up talking about “millennials,” the generation of adults currently in their twenties and early thirties. He said their narcissism, lack of resilience, attitude … Continue reading

From Michael Gurian – The Decade of the Boy

For the last several months a group of writers has been focusing on the issues of boys and men by collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges boys … Continue reading

When a Son “Hates” His Mom

This guest article comes from Tim Wright, author of Searching for Tom Sawyer. In this personal story, he illustrates the shock and disorientation parents feel when they aren’t conscious that their child has reached puberty and has begun the second … Continue reading

The Heart of Masculinity

For the next several months a group of writers focused on the issues of boys and men are collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges boys and men … Continue reading

Six Secrets To Your Son’s Success In School

For several months a group of writers focused on the issues of boys and men are collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges boys and men face in … Continue reading

Bye-Bye Dirty Dozen, Hello 7 Key Parent-Child Communication Skills

For me, the best book ever written about parent-child communication was Dr. Thomas Gordon’s P.E.T. – Parent Effectiveness Training, a 1975 classic that is still widely used today. It isn’t easy to raise kids. Sometimes they’re sweet and adorable. But … Continue reading

It’s Never OK to Say ‘Gay’ When You Really Mean ‘Stupid’

For the next several months a group of writers focused on the issues of boys and men are collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges boys and men … Continue reading

Team Sports – Part of the Answer for Parents of Teens

You know about the tragic circumstances that teenagers can get involved in: pregnancy, STDs, alcohol and drugs, bullying, depression, food disorders, suicide, breaking the law, rebellion, gangs, poor grades, dropping out of school, running away from home. You read the … Continue reading

Signs Your Son Is Using too Much Tech (And What To Do About It)

For the next several months a group of writers focused on the issues of boys and men are collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges boys and men … Continue reading

A Powerful Parenting Skill – Get Kids to Think for Themselves

My wife, Kathleen Scott,  contributes regularly to the San Antonio Express-News Travel section and sometimes to the Food section. She also is working on a third draft of a mystery novel. I think it’s remarkable that she made a successful … Continue reading

Michael Gurian: If I Were a Parent of a Boy…

For the next several months a group of writers focused on the issues of raising boys to become men are collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges parents … Continue reading

Critical Thinking – What It Really Is and Why You Should Care

These days, parents are hearing about the “teen brain” in the popular media. The message is that the “prefrontal cortex,” the area of the brain in charge of critical thinking, is still under construction – that this a big reason … Continue reading

Over 300 Teens Trash Retired NFL Player’s Home – And Do Untold Damage to Themselves

I read a disturbing news report posted by NPR. You should check it out. And especially check out the victim’s website… The victim was former New England Patriots pro football player, Brian Holloway (1981-1988). While he was visiting Florida, his … Continue reading

Dinner with the Smileys – Extended Community Fills in for Absent Father

If you’ve never gone to war or if you’ve never had to stay behind when your spouse is deployed, you can never fully appreciate the worry, loneliness and hardship of trying to raise a family not knowing if or when … Continue reading

Single Mom Creates a Village to Raise Her At-Risk Son

In his classic book, The Wonder of Boys, Michael Gurian makes the claim that “three families – not one – raise a healthy boy to healthy manhood.” The first family is the “nuclear family,” the parents and grandparents who raise … Continue reading

I Got Lucky – My 9 Rites of Passage

I’ve been reading about traditional and modern rites of passage. So far, the two most helpful books have been Crossroads: The Quest for Contemporary Rites of Passage, ed. Louise Carus Mahdi, et al (1996); and From Boys to Men: Spiritual … Continue reading

Free Resources – Help Your Teen Wire a Smart Brain

Every time a teenager tries to figure out why something happened, tries to understand the relationship between thing A and thing B, tries to see the connection between cause and effect, foresees possible consequences, evaluates options, solves problems and consciously … Continue reading

Dad Gets Lucky – Gives Sons Christmas Present with Profound Permanent Consequences

It was the Christmas of 1982, and my boys were 10 and 12 years old. I didn’t think twice about what to give them. It just seemed like a great idea at the time – identical Commodore 64 personal computers. … Continue reading

Many Parents Avoid Frank Talks with Their Teens – For Good Reasons

I’ve written two books, Conversations with the Wise Uncle (for boys) and Conversations with the Wise Aunt (for girls). Both are fictional accounts about an older relative mentoring a young person during the teen years to give the child a “heads up” … Continue reading

Latipha Cross – Teen Hero

One of the images I took away from Paul Tough’s book, How Children Succeed, was that of a crying teen girl being consoled by her girlfriends in a school cafeteria – because her daddy bought her the wrong kind of … Continue reading

Street Smart Kids – Teens Need to Hear This Stuff

When I was young, the adults around me shared very little advice, wisdom or skills. So by the time I left home, I was pretty naive. I didn’t know how naive I was! All I knew was that I was … Continue reading

Between Parent & Teenager – Classic Wisdom

Between Parent & Teenager (1967) , by Dr. Haim G. Ginott, was published before many of today’s parents of teenagers were born. Ginott, who has been dead for forty years, was a well-known child psychologist and parent educator. His insight … Continue reading

Change the Game – Help Your Teen Become Strong for Success

You know who Tiger Woods is. It’s impossible to imagine anyone on the planet who doesn’t. At the age of 37, he’s already a legend. He stormed onto the PGA tour 16 years ago, and a few months later he shocked the golfing … Continue reading

Chief Daddy Officer – Loving Father ‘Leads’ His Daughter

This is a unique book on parenting. Chris Efessiou, a highly successful entrepreneur and executive, believes that the personal strengths and interpersonal skills essential to effective leadership also apply to being an effective parent. I’ve always believed this, and in … Continue reading

A Coach and a Miracle – Autistic Boy Becomes Sports Hero

It’s an amazing story. A high school basketball coach gives Jason McElwain, an enthusiastic autistic boy, a role as team manager. In his senior year, the coach promises him a jersey and a chance to play in the game on … Continue reading

When Your Child Is Bullied – What to Do

Bullying is a big problem for a lot of kids. It’s a problem because it happens so often, and an attack on a child, whether physical or psychological, can cause unfortunate consequences. The “if it doesn’t kill you it makes … Continue reading

The Teen Years – A Scary Time of Life

I often say that “the teen years are a perilous time of life,” meaning that bad things can and do happen. Sometimes really bad things. Like a teenager being killed. If you think this is an overstatement, consider the sad … Continue reading

Larry Winget – Your Kids Are Your Own Fault

Over the decades, a lot of bad advice for parents has been published. Strategies such as false praise, helicopter parenting and permissiveness may have played to parents’ fears of losing the love of their child, but the consequences have been … Continue reading

Larry Winget’s Work Ethic Message to Graduates

Larry Winget My colleague, Meredith Bell, has published an article about truth-telling author and speaker, Larry Winget. You’ve heard the phrase, “tell it like it is.” Often called “the pit bull of personal development,” Larry is famous for telling it … Continue reading

Why Parents Need a Better Book about the Teen Brain

I’ve been writing about the teen brain for several years now, and I’m currently gathering the most important insights into a book for parents. I’m doing this knowing that during the past eight to ten years dozens of articles and … Continue reading

Your Child Can Develop a Brilliant Mind – Or not…

The human brain has dozens and dozens of areas that perform special tasks. While a baby is born with a complete brain, it’s like a brand new computer with no software and no data. So throughout childhood, the outer layer … Continue reading

The 3 Most Powerful Ways to Give Your Teen An Edge in Life

It’s amazing what you see when you step outside the box. I’ve been focusing on the special challenge of raising teenagers for over a year now, and I’ve been outside the box the whole time. Inside the box, you understand … Continue reading

A Huge Turning Point in the Life of a Teenager…Usually Doesn’t Happen

What’s the most high-impact event in the life of a teenager – the one that changes everything? Well, it’s not the party celebrating the 13th birthday. Or the first date, although that’s the perspective of many young people. No, the … Continue reading

Aha! Personal Development for Teenagers!

For over 30 years my work has been focused on adult personal development – personal strengths and people skills. My company, Performance Support Systems, has published some award-winning internationally recognized assessment and development systems, all brain and behavior-based. For nearly … Continue reading

The Story Behind the “Wise Uncle” and “Wise Aunt” Books

For quite a while now, I’ve felt that the kind of personal development that we encourage with adults should begin during the teen years, if not before – that in fact the adult learners we serve with programs like ProStar … Continue reading

Reading Will Help Your Teen Develop a Fine Mind

I have a friend whose dad had a personal library of several thousand books. When my friend was about ten years old, his dad enrolled him in a speed-reading course. Soon afterward, he began reading the classics of world literature. … Continue reading

Sean Covey on Teen Peer Pressure

Teens are famous for doing wild and crazy things without thinking about the consequences. I shudder when I remember some my own antics as a teenager. Of course one of the reasons for this behavior is that they’re experimenting and … Continue reading

Sex Advice for Teen Girls – Establish Boundaries

The book, Conversations with the Wise Aunt, is in the final stages of preparation and will soon appear as a Kindle ebook. In the chapter, “A Nice Way to Say No,” Aunt Maria explains to her niece, Trisha, how boys … Continue reading

John Rosemond’s Book: Teen-Proofing

Some of the best authors on the subject of parenting have books about teens. Many of the more recent ones treat the topic of teen brain development. John Rosemond is my favorite authority on parenting who doesn’t talk about brain … Continue reading

A Humorous Story – The Challenge of Parenting a Teen

I’ve logged quite a few hours writing about teens for their parents. Rather than address every conceivable topic, I’ve focused mostly on the issue of teen brain development. What can a parent do to stimulate maximum growth of the pre-frontal … Continue reading

I Recall My Own Teenage Years – Some Surprises

A few years ago, I had a reunion with some old high school buddies that I hadn’t seen in nearly 50 years. It was an amazing experience and a lot of fun. But I remember one comment my old friend … Continue reading

The Brain Talk – A Young Girl Learns What’s Happening in Her Teen Brain

I’m just guessing, but it may be true that no teenager in the long history of planet Earth has ever been given “the brain talk,” even though it’s probably the most important information a teen can have. Nevertheless, imagine a … Continue reading

Teens, Alcohol, and Brain Damage

This post is mainly for parents of kids aged 10-25. But if you’re a grandparent, a coach, a teacher, or involved in programs that help teens, you should read this, too. I’ve written several posts – mostly directed at parents … Continue reading

Dr. David Walsh’s “Why Do They Act That Way?” – 4 Basics for Parenting Teens

Do you have a teenager in your life? I ask this question a lot these days, because a lot of people are in this situation. And a young person’s developmental experience during the 12-15 year period called adolescence has become … Continue reading

Conversations with the Wise Aunt

Not many parents feel comfortable talking to their kids about sex and other momentous topics. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and parents know they’re not experts on every subject. Besides, times have changed, and they remember their own … Continue reading

Why Do Teens Act That Way? – Three Revealing Video Clips

I’m putting in a lot of time right now checking facts about what’s going on in the teen brain. As I’ve written elsewhere, it’s a confusing time for a teen because the part of the brain that does cause-and-effect thinking, … Continue reading

Conversations with the Wise Uncle

Not many parents feel comfortable talking to their kids about sex and other momentous topics. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and parents know they’re not experts on every subject. Besides, times have changed, and they remember their own … Continue reading