General Parenting

Parenting: The 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp. If I could read only one parenting book, it would be this one. It is not a “how-to” book; instead, it establishes principles, the “big picture.”

Parenting Isn’t for Cowards: The “you can do it” guide for hassled parents by James Dobson, an excellent resource that uses research data to discuss children’s innate natures and how to parent them.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, especially good when your child begins middle school.

Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years by Helen Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller. I recommend that you read this during your child’s senior year of high school. You may not want to believe some of the things in the book are possible, but they are.

A Method for Dating: Because dating happens … And it doesn’t have to be horrible by Matt Lantz, an excellent online resource for shepherding your child through dating.

Pornography: Fighting for Purity (31-Day Devotionals for Life) by Deepak Reju. Pornography is rampant among teens (and adults). This is a 31-day devotional to help stop the cycle. Follow up with Rescue Plan and Rescue Skills, listed below.

Rescue Plan: Charting a Course to Restore Prisoners of Pornography, by Deepak Reju and Jonathan Holmes. This is written for the person walking with someone struggling with pornography; use in combination with Rescue Skills, below.

Rescue Skills: Essential Skills for Restoring the Sexually Broken by Deepak Reju and Jonathan Holmes. An excellent resource to help if your high school student struggles with pornography, and is meant to be read with your child.

Raising Sons

Bringing Up Boys: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Men by James Dobson. Dobson had a son and a daughter, as I did. Raising boys is different than raising girls. This book focuses on the unique elements of parenting sons.

Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood by Robert Lewis. I used this as a foundation for a father-and-son “Becoming a Man” retreat; it has suggestions for ceremonies to mark milestone transitions.

Raising Daughters

Secret Keeper Girl: The Power of Modesty for Tweens by Dannah Gresh. This and the next book are particularly helpful for mothers teaching daughters about modesty and self-esteem.

Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty by Dannah Gresh. Same as above, but this one deals with older girls.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Seeker. I wish I had read this book when my daughter was a teenager, but I only recently discovered it. This is the best book I have read for fathers raising daughters. It was made into a movie in 2022.

Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boys, and the New Realities of Girl World by Rosalind Wiseman. This is an eye-opening book into the world of teen girls, and was the inspiration for the movie Mean Girls.

Navigating Scouting Programs

Parenting Through the Ranks by David Harakal. Written to help parents use the Scouting program to help their parenting, and develop or refine their parenting skills to help Scouting programs.

The Unofficial Parent Handbook: A Compendium of Practical Information on Scouts BSA for Scout Parents by David Howell. This is the best resource I have found for understanding Scouts BSA program elements.

Scouts BSA Requirements (current year) by the Boy Scouts of America, or the handbook for your child’s Scouting program. These books can help you grow closer to your Scout. Look through rank requirements and merit badge or activity options to discover your child’s passions and dislikes, where they are confident or where they struggle (or will). Rank-specific Handbooks and Leader’s Guides will offer similar opportunities for Cub Scouts. Leader’s Guides are not restricted to leaders.