One day you have a munchkin who yes, gets up at 6 a.m. and survives on only the outside of chicken nuggets, but who also calls you “Mommy” and makes you valentines.

The next day you have a grunting giant who sleeps until noon, eats entire loaves of bread at a sitting, and communicates with you exclusively through text messages even when in an adjacent room.

Congratulations! You’re the parent of a teenager!

In this episode, we discuss just what exactly is up with teenagers, including

  • getting over the weirdness of disciplining someone who is taller than you are
  • how teens today are physically safer, but psychologically more at risk
  • how when you have a teenager who is a boy you will be literally the last to know anything
  • how to let your teen feel like she’s getting away with something while still keeping her within the bounds of what you consider safe

Here’s links to a must-read and some useful teen-handling tools we discuss

Dr. Jean Twenge for The Atlantic: Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? We also recommend following Dr. Twenge on Twitter if teens and screens concerns you (as they really probably should)

Amy swears by Sneaker Balls  to make life in a home with two teens bearable for all concerned.

Amy also recommends using an app like Tiny Cards to bone up on whatever your teen really wants to talk about, whether it’s NBA players, types of Pokémon, or Star Wars ships. Dazzle your teen with your sudden kaleidoscopic knowledge!

We also had the great pleasure of interviewing Dr. Jess Shatkin, author of the new book Born to Be Wild: Why Teens Take Risks, and How We Can Help Keep Them SafeDr. Shatkin explained to us how teenagers are hard-wired to take risks, and why “scaring them straight” doesn’t discourage them in the least. But don’t despair– this book has useful and specific takeaways, and we’re giving away a copy to a lucky listener who is brave enough to share one of her own (perhaps regrettable) teen photos!

Come visit us on our Facebook page and post one of your teen photos- we’ll be choosing a winner at random to receive a copy of Born to Be Wild.

Label Your StuffHere’s another tip for living with teenagers: label absolutely everything. This week’s sponsor, Label Your Stuff, means you have at least a fighting chance of seeing that $75  hoodie again. Shop their stuff- and support our show- with this special code: