Books and Articles — Parenting Advice and Support

Books for Children and Teens

Ryan, AmyVibes (for ages 14-16 years)
Verdick, ElizabethWords Are Not for Hurting (for ages 4-7 years)

Books for Adults

Gallagher, Gina and Konjoian, PatriciaShut Up About...Your Perfect Kid!
Pruett, Kyle and PruettPartnership Parenting
Seligman, MartinThe Optimistic Child : A Proven Program to Safeguard Children Against Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience

Articles and Other Resources

Stereotypes About Teens Can Undermine Parents' Confidence, by Aimee Cunningham. NPR, November 05, 2015.  “Parents, don't let your views of adolescence get you down. Stereotypes about adolescents can make moms and dads feel less confident about their parenting skills right at a time kids need their parents to be present in their lives.”

Parents Can Learn How To Prevent Anxiety In Their Children, by Lynne Shallcross. NPR, September 25, 2015.  “Children of anxious parents are more at risk of developing an anxiety disorder. But there's welcome news for those anxious parents: that trajectory toward anxiety isn't set in stone. Therapy and a change in parenting styles might be able to prevent kids from developing anxiety disorders, according to research published in The American Journal of Psychiatry Friday.”

Watchful parents help early-maturing girls avoid alcohol abuse, by Anne Harding. Reuters, September 21, 2015.  “Girls who hit puberty early are at sharply higher risk of abusing alcohol as teens if their parents don't keep tabs on them, new research shows. Early-maturing girls whose parents gave them free rein at age 13 showed a “dramatic increase in alcohol abuse” over the next four years compared to early-maturing peers who were supervised more closely, Dr. Brett Laursen of Florida Atlantic University in Fort Lauderdale and colleagues found. And over time, the more often these girls abused alcohol, the less closely their parents supervised them, according to research published in Pediatrics.”

That's Not Fair! Crime And Punishment In A Preschooler's Mind, by Nadia Whitehead. NPR, June 24, 2015.  “Toddlers can throw their fair share of tantrums, especially when you don't yield to their will. But by age 3, it turns out, the little rug rats actually have a burgeoning sense of fairness and are inclined to right a wrong. When they see someone being mistreated, children as young as 3 years old will intervene on behalf of others nearly as often as for themselves, a study published this month in Current Biology suggests. Just don't ask them to punish the perpetrator.”

What Babies Understand About Adult Sadness, by Maanvi Singh. NPR, June 12, 2015.  “Babies tend to wear their hearts on their tiny little sleeves. They cry because you took away that thing they picked up off the floor and then put in their mouths. They cry because they're tired. Sometimes, they cry just because. But by the middle of their second year of life, it turns out, babies do understand that a stiff upper lip can be appropriate in certain situations. Children this age show more concern for adults who overtly express sadness, according to a study published this week, but they're also understanding of people who are more emotionally reserved.”

Teenage Dreams: Parents can help their teens succeed in school, by Bari Walsh. Harvard Graduate School of Education, March 16, 2015.  “When children reach adolescence, everything that’s joyful, challenging, and surprising — or sanity-sapping — about being a parent seems suddenly to multiply. But hang in there. Just when it may feel like your kids are beginning to pull away, your involvement — and support — matters profoundly. A body of research has already shown that parenting practices in early adolescence are predictive of later educational achievement. Now, some new findings by Professor Nancy Hill of the Harvard Graduate School of Education are showing the importance of one particular practice: helping teens set goals and explore interests.”

Could group care be the new model for pregnancy?, by Joanna Weiss. Boston Globe, January 23, 2015.  “Sometimes advice given during a brief doctor’s visit goes in and out of mind; advice reinforced by your peers can stick. The presence of other women can counter mistrust of the health care system. It can bridge the gap between Western medicine and home-country traditions. And it can counter a disturbing disparity in outcomes between white women and minority women, who are more likely to deliver premature and low-birth-weight babies. Preliminary data from BMC show a 30 percent reduction in preterm births among CenteringPregnancy patients, compared to the general hospital population. About 90 percent of women in Centering groups try breastfeeding — 60 percent more than the patient pool at large.”

Teens Who Skimp On Sleep Now Have More Drinking Problems Later, by Maanvi Singh. NPR, January 16, 2015.  “Sleep-deprived teenagers find it difficult to focus in class, and they're more likely get sick. They are also more likely to develop problems with alcohol later on, according to a study published Friday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. The study included teens who suffered from conditions like insomnia as well as those who simply weren't getting enough sleep. Teenagers ages 14 through 16 who had trouble falling or staying asleep were 47 percent more likely to binge drink than their well-rested peers. Sleep problems were linked to even more issues with alcohol later on.”

Does Laughing Have Real Health Benefits?, by Markham Heid. Time, November 19, 2014.  “It may not be the best medicine. But laughter’s great for you, and it may even compare to a proper diet and exercise when it comes to keeping you healthy and disease free. Berk says your mind, hormone system and immune system are constantly communicating with one another in ways that impact everything from your mood to your ability to fend off sickness and disease. Take grief: “Grief induces stress hormones, which suppress your immune function, which can lead to sickness,” he says. Hardly a week goes by without new research tying stress to another major ailment.”

Preschool Depression May Continue for a Decade, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, July 31, 2014.  “New research discovers early childhood depression increases the risk that a child will be depressed throughout their formative school years. Washington University researchers discovered children who had depression as preschoolers were 2.5 times more likely to suffer from the condition in elementary and middle school than kids who were not depressed at very young ages.”

Divorce Can Impact Children's Weight, by Lauren Gaines. Parenting Magazine, July 01, 2014.  “Parents often worry about their children's emotional well-being when going through a divorce, but new research suggests they should be concerned for their physical health, too. A study published in the online journal BMJ Open found that children of divorced parents were more likely to be overweight or obese.”

Have you had the 'sext' talk with your kids?, by Geetha Parachuru. CNN, June 30, 2014.  “It’s called sexting, the act of sending and/or receiving sexually explicit text or photo messages via your mobile phone. And one in five middle school-aged students are doing it, according to a new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics. Among the 1,285 Los Angeles students aged 10 to 15 surveyed for the study, 20% reported having received at least one sext, while 5% reported having sent at least one sext.”

Suppressing Positive Emotions Can Lead to Postpartum Depression, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, April 30, 2014.  “New research discovers that the suppression of positive feelings can play an important role in the development of postpartum depression. Investigators believe this finding has implications for the treatment of depressed mothers.”

Meaningful Activities Protect the Brain From Depression, by Olga Khazan. The Atlantic, April 21, 2014.  “How we seek and respond to those rewards is part of what determines our overall happiness. Aristotle famously said there were two basic types of joy: hedonia, or that keg-standing, Netflix binge-watching, Nutella-from-the-jar selfish kind of pleasure, and eudaimonia, or the pleasure that comes from helping others, doing meaningful work, and otherwise leading a life well-lived. Recent psychological research has suggested that this second category is more likely to produce a lasting increase in happiness. Hedonic rewards may generate a short-term burst of glee, but it dissipates more quickly than the surge created by the more selfless eudaimonic rewards.”

Depression risks increase for young dads, by Michelle Healy. USA Today, April 14, 2014.  “Becoming a dad can be emotionally tough for any guy, but especially for young, first-time fathers. A new study finds that the first five years of parenthood — key attachment and bonding years for a child — may be the riskiest for young dads when it comes to developing depression. Symptoms of depression increased on average by 68% over the first five years of fatherhood for men who were around 25 years old when they became fathers and lived with their children, according to the study published online today in the journal Pediatrics.”

Military Dads Have to Re-Learn Parenting After Deployment University of Wisconsin-Madison, March 04, 2014.  “Fathers who returned after military service report having difficulty connecting with young children who sometimes don’t remember them, according to a study released this week. While the fathers in the study had eagerly anticipated reuniting with their families, they reported significant stress, especially around issues of reconnecting with children, adapting expectations from military to family life, and co-parenting.”

Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain, by Jon Hamilton. NPR, February 24, 2014.  “Parents do a lot more than make sure a child has food and shelter, researchers say. They play a critical role in brain development. More than a decade of research on children raised in institutions shows that "neglect is awful for the brain," says Charles Nelson, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. Without someone who is a reliable source of attention, affection and stimulation, he says, "the wiring of the brain goes awry." The result can be long-term mental and emotional problems.”

Higher risks among perinatal women with bipolar disorder, by Brown University. ScienceDaily, February 24, 2014.  “Women with bipolar disorder often struggle with the illness during and after pregnancy. A new study finds that they were significantly more likely to face important psychiatric and childrearing challenges compared to women who were seeking treatment for other psychiatric disorders. The findings indicate the importance of properly identifying the disorder and developing specific treatments for women during and after pregnancy, the lead author states.”

In Texting Era, Crisis Hotlines Put Help at Youths’ Fingertips, by Leslie Kaufman. New York Times, February 04, 2014.  “While counseling by phone remains far more prevalent, texting has become such a fundamental way to communicate, particularly among people under 20, that crisis groups have begun to adopt it as an alternative way of providing emergency services and counseling. Texting provides privacy that can be crucial if a person feels threatened by someone near them, counselors say. It also looks more natural if the teenager is in public.”

The Foolproof Way to Improve Your ADHD Child’s Social Skills, by Lisa Aro. Everyday Health, January 21, 2014.  “Impulsiveness, frustration, and impatience can often leads to inappropriate or aggressive behavior. While discipline is important it means nothing in the if end the child hasn’t learned new skills to help them cope with the situations they face every day. Social stories can help you teach your child those skills.”

Yelling, threatening parents harm teens' mental health, by Allison Bond. Reuters, December 10, 2013.  “Threatening or screaming at teenagers may put them at higher risk for depression and disruptive behaviors such as rule-breaking, a new study suggests. "The take home point is that the verbal behaviors matter," Annette Mahoney, who worked on the study, said. She's a professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. "It can be easy to overlook that, but our study shows that the verbal hostility is really relevant, particularly for mothers who scream and hit, and for fathers who do either one," Mahoney told Reuters Health.”

Bully in the next bedroom - are we in denial about sibling aggression?, by William Kremer. November 08, 2013.  “Sibling relationships can be difficult, and never more so than in childhood. But society often regards the scrapping and squabbling, the play fighting and not-so-playful fighting as a normal part of growing up. Almost a third of the 3,600 children questioned said they had been the victim of some sort of sibling aggression in the past 12 months. The included a range of acts from theft and psychological abuse to physical assault, either mild or severe. In comparison, research suggests that up to a quarter of children are victims of schoolyard aggression every year.”

How to talk to your children about school safety, by Elizabeth Gehrman. October 06, 2013.  “More schools are beefing up security, adding metal detectors, surveillance cameras, and more. Parents need to be ready to help their children understand why.”

7 Essential Steps Parents Can Take to Prevent Teen Suicide, by Nadine Kaslow and Polina Kitsis, et al. American Psychological Assosciation, September 23, 2013.  “Every day, about 12 youth die by suicide. For every adolescent death by suicide you hear about, about 25 suicide attempts are made. These are staggering statistics. We know that families, schools, peer groups, and communities are dramatically impacted when young people engage in suicidal behavior. We want to help you prevent these tragedies. Parents Can Make a Difference Parents can help prevent suicide by recognizing warning signs, identifying risk factors (characteristics that may lead a young person to engage in suicidal behaviors), promoting protective factors (characteristics that help people deal with stress and reduce their chances of engaging in suicidal behaviors), and knowing how to talk to their children and seek mental health services. You can empower yourself and your teen by following these 7 steps.”

When Helping Hurts, by ELI J. FINKEL and FITZSIMONS. New York Times, May 10, 2013.

Lack of sleep blights pupils' education, by Sean Coughlan. BBC, May 08, 2013.  “Sleep deprivation is a significant hidden factor in lowering the achievement of school pupils, according to researchers carrying out international education tests. It is a particular problem in more affluent countries, with sleep experts linking it to the use of mobile phones and computers in bedrooms late at night. Sleep deprivation is such a serious disruption that lessons have to be pitched at a lower level to accommodate sleep-starved learners, the study found. The international comparison, carried out by Boston College, found the United States to have the highest number of sleep-deprived students, with 73% of 9 and 10-year-olds and 80% of 13 and 14-year-olds identified by their teachers as being adversely affected.”

Can Too Much TV in Childhood Cause Adult Antisocial Behavior?, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, February 19, 2013.  “Emerging research suggests that children and adolescents who watch a lot of television are more likely to manifest antisocial and criminal behavior when they become adults. New Zealand researchers followed a group of around 1,000 children born in the city of Dunedin in 1972-73. Every two years between the ages of 5 and 15, researchers asked the children's parents how much television they watched. Experts then analyzed the data and discovered a small relationship in the data that suggests there is a connection between antisocial personality traits in adulthood and more television watching as a child. The researchers also found that people with a criminal conviction said that they watched more TV as a child compared to those who didn't have one.”

Xanax 'helps me be a better mom', by Shawn Bean. CNN, February 18, 2013.  “To deal with her depression and anxiety issues, J.D. Bailey does not use prescription drugs. She uses the delicate-fabrics setting on the dryer. Four years ago, Bailey was prescribed a low dose of Zoloft to offset the postpartum depression that followed the birth of her youngest daughter, Grace. Her doctor later switched the script to Celexa. Thus began a carousel of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Today, Bailey is not taking anything. For the past few months, her drug of choice has been five minutes in the laundry room.”

D Is for Divorce: Sesame Street Tackles Another Touchy Topic, by Jessica Bennett and Tumblr Storyboard. Time, December 10, 2012.  “In early 1992, a census report predicted that 40% of children would soon live in divorced homes. As one of the most famous children's-television programs in the world, Sesame Street was determined to take on a topic most kids shows wouldn't touch. They cast Snuffy, a.k.a. Mr. Snuffleupagus, for the part of a child with divorced parents. With a team of its best writers, researchers and producers, a segment was scripted and shot. It went through a half-dozen revisions, with input from the foremost researchers in the field. And on a typical sunny afternoon on Sesame Street, the furry, red elephantine Muppet prepared to drop the bomb on his loyal preschool viewers.”

Parents Tend to Downplay Kids' Worries, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, October 25, 2012.  “A new study implies that parents, perhaps naturally so, are positively biased toward their child's abilities and emotions. Psychologists at the Center for Mind and Brain, at the University of California, Davis, discovered parents consistently overestimate their children's optimism and downplay their worries.”

Summer Camp: Great For Kids, Even Better For Parents, by Bonnie Rochman. Time Magazine, August 03, 2012.  “These days, of course, setting your kids free doesn't have to mean completely severing the ties that bind. Most camps post hundreds of digital photos of campers each day, prompting many a lovelorn mom to sit by her computer all day clicking "refresh." Many camps allow email, and a new service even lets parents forward recent tweets from their kids' favorite Twitter personalities.”

Playtime Relieves Stress among Single Moms, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, June 20, 2012.  “A new study suggests single mothers can improve their relationship with their children and relieve parental stress by interacting with their children during playtime.”

Parents' Depression Linked to Problems in Children, by Perri Klass. New York Times, May 07, 2012.  “A parent's depression, it turns out, can be linked to all kinds of problems, even in the lives of older children.”

Validation: How Parents Can Help Their Children Cope with Bullying, by Karyn Hall. Psychology Today, March 03, 2012.

School Absenteeism, Mental Health Problems Linked, by Janice Wood. Psych Central, December 25, 2011.  “Students who miss a lot of school often have symptoms of psychiatric disorders, according to a new study.”

Working May Help Mom's Mental Health, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, December 13, 2011.  “Getting out of the house and working appears to be a healthy tonic for mothers as researchers discover being a stay-at-home mom is associated with higher bouts of depression.”

Dad's Involvement Improves Child Outcomes, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, August 31, 2011.  “A new study suggests active participation by the father in child-raising activities improves academic performance and behavior in the kids.”

Why Maternity Leave Is Important, by Meredith Melnick. Time Magazine, July 21, 2011.

Rethinking Shaken Baby Syndrome, by Joseph Shapiro. NPR, June 29, 2011.  “The dispute over shaken baby syndrome is a bitter civil war. On one side, doctors, lawyers and other experts say the diagnosis is key to winning convictions of people accused of the most horrible acts of child abuse. Opponents say the diagnosis is used too freely and that sometimes, innocent people go to prison.”

Time to focus on sad dads, by Tara Parker-Pope. New York Times, March 17, 2011.  “Much is known about postpartum depression in women, but now researchers are calling attention to the plight of depressed fathers.”

New mothers get enough sleep, just not good sleep, by Amy Norton. Reuters, August 30, 2010.  “Researchers from West Virginia University in followed a group of new mothers and found, on average, the women got just over 7 hours of sleep a night during their babies' first four months. But the study found that sleep is also frequently disrupted with the women typically being awake for a total of two hours a night which was worrying as sleep problems and exhaustion may contribute to postpartum depression and impact work performance.”

Defining a Successful Parent, by Lisa Belkin. New York Times, July 19, 2010.  “Cultivating and informing and monitoring are what parents are supposed to do, no?”

Worried About a Moody Teen?, by Elizabeth Bernstein. Wall St. Journal, June 29, 2010.  “Everyone warns parents about the drama of the teen years—the self-righteous tears, slamming doors, inexplicable fashion choices, appalling romances. But what happens when typical teen angst starts to look like something much darker and more troubling? How can parents tell if a moody teenager is simply normal—or is spinning out of control? This may be one of the most difficult dilemmas parents will ever face.”

Play, Then Eat: Shift May Bring Gains at School, by Tara Parker-Pope. New York Times, January 25, 2010.  “A simple scheduling switch — moving recess before lunch — may improve children’s eating habits and behavior in school.”

If Your Kids Are Awake, They're Probably Online, by Tamar Lewin. New York Times, January 20, 2010.  “Researchers once thought the use of electronic devices could not go up. They were wrong.”

To Treat Bed-Wetting, Healthy Doses of Patience, by Perri Klass. New York Times, January 11, 2010.  “The causes for bed-wetting in children can be genetic, developmental and physiological, but the problem itself is quite treatable.”

Parenting: Raising Happy Children, by Jim Taylor, Ph.D. Psychology Today, October 30, 2009.  “What does it take to raise happy children?”

From Birth, Engage Your Child With Talk, by Jane Brody. New York Times, September 29, 2009.  “All too often, mothers and nannies are tuned in to their cellphones, BlackBerrys and iPods, not their young children.”

Back-to-School Transitions: Tips for Parents, by Ted Feinberg and Cowan. September 08, 2009.  “The transition from August to September can be difficult for both children and parents. Even children who are eager to return to class must adjust to the greater levels of activity, structure, and, for some, pressures associated with school life. ... Here are a few suggestions to help ease the transition and promote a successful school experience.”

Parenting and Food: Eat Your Peas. Or Don't. Whatever., by Frank Bruni. New York Times, August 29, 2009.  “How can parents coach children away from unhealthy eating without provoking insecurity and obsession?”

Do parents favor natural children over adopted ones?, by Nigel Barber. Psychology Today, June 01, 2009.

Delivering advice to parents on teen sex, by Bella English. Boston Globe, April 19, 2009.


One Stone: Extinguishing Negative Behaviors, by Dawn Huebner., 2010.

When To Seek Help For Your Child, by American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry..

Where To Find Help For Your Child, by American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry..

How Supportive Parenting Protects the Brain, by Olga Khazan. The Atlantic.  “The other day, a mother of a 15-month-old walked into Andrew Garner’s office, oozing frustration. “Is it normal for them to never sit still?” she asked. Garner, a pediatrician in Westlake, Ohio, leapt on the remark as a teachable moment. “He doesn’t sit still?!” he said, “That’s a compliment to you! You want him to do that.” At 15 months, he explained, children are itching to explore, and then toddle back, and then wander off again. It’s a sign the baby is developing apace. The goal is to make the woman feel confident in her mothering abilities. If he builds up her self-esteem, Garner hopes, she’ll be more invested and engaged as a mom, and the child will grow up smarter and healthier as a result. Garner bases this chain of events on a spate of recent studies that have shown that supportive parents breed better-off children.”


Disclaimer: Material on the William James INTERFACE Referral Service website is intended as general information. It is not a recommendation for treatment, nor should it be considered medical or mental health advice. The William James INTERFACE Referral Service urges families to discuss all information and questions related to medical or mental health care with a health care professional.