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.
- DIFFICULT AND AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS: Drugs. Death. Sex. Oh my.
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.
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.
“This book is the training manual you never got. A must-have resource for parents, teachers, or anyone else who has to deal with teens.”
— Ellen Rakieten, Executive Producer of OPRAH
“Teenagers pose unique challenges for parents, teachers and caregivers. This book is an essential read, providing a unique pathway to best understand, connect with and guide us in nurturing healthy, resilient teens.”
— Gene Beresin MD, MA, Executive Director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This is an invaluable guide to understanding, influencing, and genuinely helping the teenager in your life. Josh offers uncompromisingly practical tips to restore trust, build mutual respect, and expertly help them navigate adolescence successfully.”
— Rosalind Wiseman, New York Times best-selling author of Queen Bees and Wannabes and founder of Cultures of Dignity
“This book provides a deep understanding of a teenager’s needs and a practical guide for nurturing optimal development. The advice Josh shares is evidence-based, no nonsense, and uncompromising in it’s practicality. These insights will teach us how we can be that one caring adult every teen needs.”
— Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of New York Times bestseller How to Raise an Adult
“An accessible primer for helping parents understand and guide their kids through the often confounding adolescent years. Shipp addresses an array of typical problems faced by adolescents, each one accompanied by simple and logical action steps.”
— Publishers Weekly
“The success and impact of my work originates with teachers and other caring adults who invested in me during my formative teenage years. Josh Shipp’s book arms caring adults with the principles, insights, and inspiration they need to help teens they care about succeed.”
— Jack Canfield, co-creator of The Chicken Soup for the Soul® Series and author of The Success Principles™
“Raising an accountable adult is challenging but possible. Josh Shipp presents practical solutions to help parents and other caring adults be as effective as possible, even in the most difficult situations. You will acquire new strategies to provide teens with the skills and confidence they need to be successful!”
— John G. Miller, author of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question and Raising Accountable Kids
“As both a Mom and professor, I found this parenting book to be a breath of fresh air. Josh skillfully combines heart, humor, and research-backed strategies to reclaim harmony with the teenage human in your life.”
— Kimberly Allen, PhD, Department of Youth, Family, and Community Sciences at North Carolina State University
“An essential guide to understanding and positively influencing adolescents. This book is equal parts inspiring and genuinely helpful for every parent, youth worker, educator, or anyone involved with teens in any capacity.”
— Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning principal and author of The Immortality of Influence
“As a Dad I appreciate how practical Josh’s insights are. This book provides effective and practical ways to handle even the most squirm-worthy moments of the teenage years.”
— Doyin Richards, fatherhood advocate and contributor to UPWORTHY and Parents Magazine
“Research keeps telling us that committed adults make a difference in the lives of teenagers. Now, Josh Shipp tells you how to be that adult. The Grown-up’s Guide to Teenage Humans is a must-have resource for anyone who has a heart for the next generation.”
— Dave Ramsey, best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio show host
“Shipp commands our attention as he gives us advice about dealing with our teenagers…How to create trust and mutual respect is the meat of this book…The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans resonates deeply and contains some amazing stories…Sometimes it’s a simple idea that leaves you with goose bumps: A kid’s life can be transformed by a caring adult who’s just a little bit more bullheaded than the kid.”
— New York Times Book Review