6 Books You Should Read if You’re the Parent of a Teenager

6 Books You Should Read if You’re the Parent of a Teenager

6 (Now 7!) Books For Parenting Teens, In No Particular Order

I tried to think about where I have looked over the years to help us when we were frustrated or upset, or just needing a few pointers.  When it comes to parenting, here are 7 of my favorite go-to books for parenting teens.

There is so much information in my head about raising kids, teenagers in particular. I am a such a reader, that it is really hard to pin down my favorites, because I rarely meet a book that I don’t like.  We are all looking for answers, strategies, and ideas to try.  I try to break down each of these so you can find one that fits your needs! *This post may contain affiliate links.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

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Books for Parenting Teens|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

My list of  the best books for parenting teens

Teen Proofing

A great book for parenting teens!1) Teen-Proofing Fostering Responsible Decision Making in Your Teenager I have to say that John Rosemond is my parenting mentor, guru, go-to guy!!!!!!!  We have every single book of his, or did have, because I have loaned out some and never got them back!

He is amazing.  No nonsense, but loving strategies that work.  He terms himself as a parent, as someone who uses “grandma’s law”.  I love him!

If you have toddlers, then Making the Terrible Twos Terrific was awesome, that’s the first book of his that I read.  I have recommended it hundreds of times to personal friends and families that I have come into contact as a preschool teacher.  

Teen-Proofing research was begun by him as a parent of teenagers himself years ago.  This is a great book to refer back to again and again, as are all of his books.  “Managing teens so they make self-protective rather than self-destructive decisions is teen-proofing.”  The book is full of real world examples that are simple to implement.  

Learned Optimism

2) This was a book that I had to read back when I was still teaching, long before I had my own kids, let alone teenagers, but it was so good that I held onto it.

On the back of the book, the blurb says, “…Dr. Seligman explains how to break an “I-give-up’ habit, develop a more constructive explanatory style for interpreting your behavior, and experience the benefits of a more positive interior dialogue.

These skills can help break up depression, boost your immune system, better develop your potential, and make you happier.”

Huh!  That’s a big mouthful, but really it means that you can learn how to talk to yourself in a more  positive way.  It’s a bit text booky, but really interesting.  

So, I do recommend it because it gives real life examples and you really can use the information to change your life for the better, which in turn will help your kids, your marriage, really all aspects of your life.  It truly might save someone’s life with some of these strategies.

The Optimistic Child

3) The Optimistic Child is a sequel to Seligman’s first book with children specifically in mind.  It shows the relationship between what children think and how it affects their lives.  

“This book shows that learning the skills of optimism not only reduces the risk of depression in children but also boosts school performance improves physical health.  It provides them with the self-reliance they need as they approach the teenage years and adulthood.”  

Again, a bit textbooky, but so applicable!  I have tried to use many of the strategies with my kids in conversations over the years.  As I skim through to write this post, I am amazed at all the strategies that I could still use, and thinking maybe I will reread a chapter or two!  

You can teach your child how to talk to him or herself in their own heads.  It is amazing how negative we can be to our own selves.  This book and his first show how this is a skill that can be taught (and learned!)  Both for adults and kids.  Try it:)

The Last Lecture

4)  The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch  Ok, this is a gem.  Pausch wrote this as a “last lecture” which many professors are asked to do imagining that it is the end of their life and wanting to share a great lesson.  He actually was dying, and it truly was his last lecture.  But, the book isn’t about dying.  

His lecture and the book are all about LIVING.  I have read snippets and chapters out loud to my kids at bedtime, in the car on trips, in the middle of a teenage drama scene in our own house…  His words are great, and not to be forgotten.  Life is too short, so get busy!


Cleaning House

Written by a mom in the trenches. Another great book for parenting teens.5)  Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement This book is hilarious.  It is the journal of Wyma’s year of working with her family to get back to the real world.  She has a great writing voice, and I loved everything she had to say.

Wyma breaks down each month’s goal into bite-sized chunks, gives advice to the reader about the ups and downs of living through this experience.

She has a blog called The MOAT blog www.themoatblog.com  (MOAT stands for A Mother of Adolescents and Teens) which I recommend.  She did a bootcamp this past summer with her Cleaning House goals in mind.  

I have 3 boys, and the last thing that I want a future daughter-in-law to say to me is that my son doesn’t know how to help around the house.  All of my boys know how to cook and clean, among other things.  It was nice to read her book for affirmation that I am not the only “mean mom” around!

Ending the Homework Hassle

6) Ending the Homework Hassle John Rosemond  I told you that I was crazy about this guy!  This is a book that we have gone back to again and again over the years. Such practical and user-friendly advice.  

We have used many of his strategies, and I will have to say ALL have worked.  His advice is the type that you do a face slap and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”  

I’m a teacher, and I wish that I had known about this guy back when I was in my 4th grade classroom.  The main thing that I like about this book is that it helps the parent move the child to independence at school which leads to more success at school.  


Smart but Scattered Teens

7) Smart but Scattered Teens Richard Guare  This book is a new one for me, but I really like everything in it!  It explains how our teens’ brains are still developing, and this is why there can be so many issues going on with them especially with their ability to get anything accomplished.

This is not just a book for parents with kids that have ADHD.  It is for parents that are constantly nagging their kids to get through the day.  The authors give “critical tools needed to solve problems, manage time, and perform tasks.”- Library Journal

I hope that you found some books for parenting your own teens!

I always like to have a parenting book with me as well as a book for pleasure.  Actually, I’m such a book nerd, that I love these non-fiction parent-help books just as much, maybe even more than some fiction because they are so helpful.  It’s always good to feel smarter at the end of the day.  

Good luck, and let us know if you have any parenting books that you would recommend!

Here are some related posts:  Our 2 1/2 Rules for Teen Discipline, Parent Toolkit for Helping Our Teens Survive High School

And, here’s a link to Amazon where I have an ever growing list of my favorites for teens and adults!

Have you read my book for parenting teens?  College Bound: The Ultimate List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School

Our favorite book for parenting teens!

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Books for Parenting Teens|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Smart Parents in the know: August wins

Smart Parents in the know: August wins

Ideas for Parents in August

Here are some things I’m learning and loving in the month of August, “Smart Parents” that I think might help you.  I talk about a few things that I am learning and loving in my life right now. This includes recipes, books, movies and gadgets, etc. Here are some ideas for parents of teens in August.

Please know that I am thinking of you in these hard days, and will try to find fun and useful things to share with you each month!

Here are the posts for April, May and June I forgot to post the July one 🙁  Let me know what you are learning and loving so that I can add that to future posts!)  Without further ado, here are helpful ideas for parents in August. *This post may contain affiliate links.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

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Smart Ideas for Parents in August!|www.parentinghighschoolers.com


Did you know that the federal direct loan interest rate was lowered on July 1, 2020 to 2.75% from 4.53% last year? This will last until June 30, 2021. This is huge! Even if your child doesn’t really need this money now, it might be a good idea to take a loan out, start repaying it while they are in school, and get ahead on repaying any other debt that you may have accumulated at higher interest rates during this crazy pandemic. (Please note that this will not affect previous loans.)

 There are two types of loans for students

Federal direct subsidized loan interest rate:

These are available to undergrad and grad students with financial need. The school determines how much the student can receive. The student will get a grace period of up to six months after graduation to start paying. The Department of Education will pay the interest until graduation.

Federal direct unsubsidized loan interest rate:

These loans are available to graduate and undergrad students regardless of financial need. Again, the school will determine the amount that a student will receive based on scholarships received and the cost of attendance. Interest will accrue during the years of college.

Remember that this is just an idea. Talk with your teen’s financial aid office to see what your student would qualify for. Then talk it over with your spouse or significant other and your financial advisor. This is good money available at a really low rate. Your student would also benefit from starting with good credit even if you are the ones paying because the loan would be in their name.

Please know that under normal times, I don’t like the idea of student loan debt, but this is a little different circumstance. You do not have to take all that you qualify for, and you could borrow and put immediately in the bank… just in case. Also, you can and should start making payments as soon as possible in the case of any loans.

And, please consult someone with more wisdom than me!


Have you checked out the show on Netflix called Down To Earth with Zac Ephron? It is a travel based docu-series. Zac travels to new countries and cultures each episode and learns about sustainability for our planet and all species on it. They try local foods, visit different people and schools. Each episode introduces ways that we can help our environment. I really like the way that he encourages even tiny steps that are doable!


Milk frother – This little gadget is cute and fun to use. I stayed at my girlfriend’s house earlier this summer, and she had one of these to stir her collagen into her coffee each morning. (Collagen has many benefits for those of us over 40- read more here!) My son used it to whip his cream into his coffee, and we both loved using this. This would be a fun gift for your teen to froth their coffee or tea!


The Book of Lost Friends -Wingate

This book was wonderful! It is set in two time periods.

The first time period is Louisiana in 1875. Three young women (Hannie- a former slave, Lavinia -who Hannie had previously had to serve, and Juneau Jane -the illegitimate half-sister of Lavinia) are connected in multiple ways, and who don’t get along for many reasons, find themselves on a journey to to hopefully right some wrongs. Along the way, some really terrible things occur, and they find out that they really need each other. They all have their own reasons to be on this journey, and the entire time you are wondering whether things will work out or not. 

The other setting is Louisiana in 1987. A young woman, Benny, is a first year teacher in a tiny community at a rural school hoping to pay off her student loan debt. She tries desperately to reach her students and to make a difference in their lives. She uncovers a book with clues about the three young women from 1875, but some local townspeople do not want that information to come out. 

This sucked me in, and I could not put this down! I love Lisa Wingate’s books.


National Mahjong Day (1), National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (4), National Book Lover’s Day (9), Global Forgiveness Day (27) –we all need this!, International Bacon Day (the Saturday before Labor Day)


Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is about. —John Mayer

Don’t you just love summer? Even though this one is certainly a strange one, there are so many things that can only be enjoyed in the summer! So, take time to “smell the roses”, and enjoy this time with your teens! Here are 50 things for teens to do this summer for both fun and for college and life prep.

Ideas for Parents in August

I hope that you like my ideas for parents in August! Some other posts that might be helpful this time of the year: Best Conversations to Have With Your Teen, Help Your Teen Set Up His or Her First Apartment, Backpack Essential for High School and College

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Smart Ideas for Parents in August!|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Pack a Quick-Go Bag for Sudden Emergencies

Pack a Quick-Go Bag for Sudden Emergencies

Is your teen ready to come home at a minute’s notice?

Guess what? We are living in the day of weird circumstances, and we need to be prepared. Our teens need to be prepared. Is your teen going back to college? What if campus suddenly closes down again? What if there is a family emergency that your teen needs to leave for on a minute’s notice? Here are some ideas for an emergency road trip kit for your teen.

Colleges are preparing for the return of students, for whatever that may look like. Is your teen preparing to head back to college? Is your teen headed for the first time?

We need to help our teens to prepare for any type of circumstance so that in the moment of an emergency, they won’t need to think about it.  Here are tips for packing an emergency road trip kit. *This post may contain affiliate links.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

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Emergency road trip kit|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

A bag to pack in

This set of 4 mesh bags. These will need to be filled with all of your teens favorite personal items. When purchasing things for this next school year, whether it will be a dorm room or apartment, go ahead and purchase some travel size items for this bag. Don’t forget a brush, and toothbrush with toothpaste. And, make sure your girls don’t forget some personal hygiene items.

These packing cubes will provide a little bit more room. Maybe use these for a quick change of clothes, dividing by category.

Medications and/or medical supplies

Please remind your student to keep their meds locked up in some sort of a safe. We found out the hard way that this type of theft is very common on college campuses. Here is another size safe for this type of situation. Remember to remind your teen to have a few over-the-counter drug items in their car as well, such as Advil for a headache that will come with stress.

Weekly medicine organizer which can be used all the time anyway.

Here is a pouch for all kinds of medicine.

Cleanliness items

Wet wipes are really hard to come by, but a travel size would be great.

Antibacterial hand wipes are a must. If you cannot find any, here is a recipe for making your own.

Liquid hand soap can be put into a smaller bottle for travel. This is great if your teen needs to stop and remembers to take it in in case there is nothing in soap dispenser!

Spray disinfectant for quick cleaning after visiting a gas station or wherever.

Germ-free door opener -These are handy little tools to have when out and about during a pandemic especially. They can open numerous types of door handles, and press elevator keys as well. This is a 2-pack–one for you and one for your teen:)

Covid supplies

Face masks -Sign of the times we live in, but having a pack of these in the car is something we all ought to be doing now, especially if traveling.

Disposable gloves -Another item to have in your car for pumping gas, exchanging money or even going in to use a restroom on a road trip.

Anti Touch, No-Touch Door Opener -This thing is a stylus, hands-free button-pusher, cool little gadget! We should all be carrying this in our wallets. This is one of the most multifunctional tools that I have seen.

Food for the road

Have a few snacks on hand, just in case. Even just one or two in one of the above bags is a great head start for a quick trip.

Trail or nut mixes are great for travel.

Frooze balls, these are yummy.

Money or gift cards

This is super important. They should put some cash in small bills, 20s or less in their safe to grab on the run. Also, if they have a credit card, they need to be sure to have that with their driver’s license. Having a few gift cards would be great if they need to stop for food or gas anywhere!

The Amazon Rewards card is great because you win when they spend. Having a credit card will be peace of mind for you if they do end up on the road. Our oldest got his first credit card his junior year of college. I think that this depends on the teen and their responsibility level.

Some things to think about at any time

Help your teen to learn to know where the nearest exit is no matter where they are. Movie theater, mall, restaurant etc. If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that you can take nothing for granted. Our kids and teens need to be able to think on their feet. When we notice out loud things like seeing where exit signs are, keeping track of directions on the way to a new place or even reminding them that they really shouldn’t open a door to strangers-even now that they are older, we are helping our teens to be more prepared for emergency situations.

I am not saying that we need to become doomsday preppers, but helping our teens to be ready for anything will reduce their stress in the event of an emergency.

Be sure that your teen knows to have their car regularly maintained. Another thing that we have told our teens is to always have at least half a tank of gas these days, just to be sure they can get out of town at the very least.

Through readiness and discipline, we are the masters of our fate.” -Bill Paxton

This was a different type of post for me. As I was researching this idea, it made me feel a little unsettled. But, I wanted you to think about what your teen may need in certain circumstances. This is not something that we might have thought about even 6 months ago. But, being prepared is never a bad thing. This preparation will take some of the extra stress away if something were to happen when your student is away at school.

For the first time, I hope that this emergency road trip kit is not necessary, but I hope that your teen takes one as they head back to school!

Other posts that you might want to take a look at: 10 Things Your Freshman Will Definitely Need in Their Dorm Room, Is Your Teen Headed Back to College? Tips for Success, 15 Ways Parents Can Help a Stressed Out Teen

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Emergency road trip kit|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Middle School:  Advice for Success

Middle School: Advice for Success

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Start Early for Middle School Success!

Middle school is a time of transition and growing.  Your child leaves elementary school, and has three years to be ready for high school!  How is this possible?  Here are some hard-won lessons learned from getting three kids through these years for middle school success.

Both you and your teen have lots to learn.  It is a challenging time, in fact, this might be the most challenging age since they were toddlers!  These years can be difficult, but you can help your child start some forward thinking with some of these strategies, and you guys can survive.

Quick update: I am now teaching middle school. I can tell you that these kids are savvy!  They already have ideas about what they want and don’t want. Take advantage of this time! It goes so quickly… *This post may contain affiliate links.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

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Middle School: 9 Tips for Success|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Start the thinking process!

Begin talking about things that your child likes to do or that they are interested in or are good at.  Do a Google search for schools with different majors that you think of together. Start conversations with your child when you are with other adults and talk with them about their jobs.  Check out my book.  Some, if not all, of these conversations really are better if started before high school!  Here’s a link to the book,  College Bound:  The Ultimate List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School.  

What types of things do these adults like, and/or dislike, about their jobs.  What are the expectations at their workplaces?  Do they have really long hours, or maybe just a four day week?  How much did they make starting out?  How much school was required?

Adults usually love it when a kid is willing to talk and have an actual conversation with them, so encourage them to ask away.  Plus, it’s an added bonus to that adult that your child is asking questions and interested in them.

Think about future job possibilities.

Help your child to start looking around at different jobs that people have wherever you all are.  Even when watching a show, try to notice how many jobs there are on that show.  Watch the news for different stories about people’s lives and what they do during the day.

These conversations can be very interesting to say the least, it’s amazing what they know and think that they know.  Remember, though, that it’s a conversation, not time to lecture!

Try new things.

Middle school is the perfect time to try some new things.

Try a club if it sounds interesting.  Try to stick with it for the year.  Sometimes these start out a little boring because no one knows each other yet.  Give it a chance.  If it is just not a good fit, then try something else.

Run for an office in a club or be in charge of a particular event.  This is good practice for more leadership in high school.

Try out for a sport.  This is the time to do some of these things to get a taste to see if it is something that might be a good fit.  Most kids at this age make the team.  It’s a good time to learn about a sport, especially if your child hasn’t played it before.  There are lots of beginners at this age as well as other kids who have played for years.  You will see it all in middle school!

Try out an instrument for all of these same reasons.

Again, if your student doesn’t just love something, then they have tried and now they know!  The great thing about middle school is that it’s practice for being in high school without the pressure of grades counting and everything being super competitive.

Thankfully, middle school success doesn't depend on playing in band!

Take the aptitude tests seriously.

As the future gets closer, tell your student not to just blow these tests off.  These tests are really a tool to help decipher personality traits, likes and dislikes, and many other factors which might help steer your child in a direction they have never even considered.  Many give really good ideas if honest and thoughtful answers are provided.

Right now jobs with good employment rates are engineering, administration, many sciences, and graphic design.  Many jobs are not even listed yet–BECAUSE they have not been invented yet!  85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 do not even exist today!

Middle school success does not depend on these scores, however the information that can be gained from these results if your teen takes it seriously might be really helpful!

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Start early for middle school success!|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Have conversations.

If I could go back and do one thing differently, it would to be to have more conversations about all of this.  We are trying this a lot more with our youngest son.  No decision needs to be made at this point.  But, just having these sort of conversations will really help with everyone’s mindset as high school is looming just ahead.

One big mistake is to wait until junior year to start all these conversations and by then your kids are so super busy and there is a lot going on in general.  Give yourselves the gift of time. Here’s the link to a post with 5 tips to improve communication with your teen.

This is also a good time to start keeping track of all activities because as your child moves forward, especially by high school, a good record of all this needs to be kept from the beginning of freshman year.

Check out my parent toolkit for this and other ways to help your teen through these busy years!

Apply for scholarships.

One thing that I wish I had known with my oldest son, is that this whole process could be started in middle school.  Many scholarships are available starting for students when they are 13!  These are good ones to try for, because who knows this?  No one that I have spoken with about this process has known.

As a parent, you need to set up a specific email just for scholarships, and so should your child–even if you are the only one checking them.  Sign up for scholarship websites, and fill out the profiles. (These can be edited down the road as your child learns more about themselves and their likes and dislikes.)

These websites will start to send lots of emails about different scholarships that are available.  They will be organized in many ways.  Stay up with them and create a list of ones to try for.  Many can and should be deleted.  Don’t go crazy with this.  Maybe try for one a month, more during the summer or over holidays.

Look at these websites.

Here is a list of scholarship websites for you to look at:  Chegg.com, ScholarshipOwl.com, Scholarship Points, Fastweb Scholarships, Scholarships.com, Cappex.com, Niche.com, and Scholly.com

A couple of good resources for helping with all of this are:

How 2 Win Scholarships
Monica Matthews is a former teacher and a stay-at-home mom of three boys. She’s a mom who worked with her son to earn enough scholarships to attend college for free. Monica has parent, as well as student guides which are extremely useful and worth the $27.00.  I’ve signed up for her newsletters and she’ll let you know when to apply for scholarships. She always has up to date information on her blog.  

The Scholarship System– Jocelyn Pearson. She has a free webinar you can register for here.  She paid for 100% of her college expenses through scholarships.  Jocelyn has definitely done her homework and creates a yearly Scholarship Guide.  I liked her webinar. Very honest and tells it like it is. 

Practice writing a few essays.

Good topics for essays are:  goals and aspirations, how to help the environment, safe driving habits (such as no texting and driving), and where do you see yourself in 20 years. Just having these few essays in their pocket will be super helpful in the whole process because they can be tweaked and used more than once.

There will be more and more writing in high school, so this is good practice.  Also, many colleges require an essay on their application, so these could be used again for that.

Set up a calendar for college related items.

This can be a dedicated calendar for scholarship due dates (pretend that they are actually due earlier than actual date, so they are never late) and also test dates like the ACT and SAT.  Eventually, in high school, due dates for applications can also be added.  There are many due dates, so a calendar dedicated to just college can be super helpful.

This is a lot!!!

Do not try to do this all at once!  Middle school lasts three years, so give yourself grace.  Try one thing at a time.  Get to know your child as they mature and grow into young adults.  The main thing is to keep the lines of communication open with your child so that all of this planning and prep work is done together.

It’s too much for any one person.  Get on the same page as your spouse, significant other, or ex– or as close as possible because it is your kid’s future that is important right now.  There will be times that you don’t work on any of this because you are busy and have a life.  When you can, take baby steps into this whole process, the chances of middle school success will increase.  It is a really exciting and fun time for all!

Related posts:  Why Toddlers and Teens are So Similar, Mom, Take Care of Yourself!

Have you read my book?  It helps with the whole process of college and life prep.  It really is applicable to all teens, and starting these conversations now before high school would be such a head start!  Here is a link to a blog post that goes with the book. Included in the post are the downloadable printouts that I couldn’t figure out how to get into the book!

College Bound:  The Ultimate List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School 

Backpack Essentials for College:  What You Must Have

Backpack Essentials for College: What You Must Have

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Backpack essentials for high school or college

Packing an organized backpack for high school or college is essential to academic survival. It is much smarter to plan ahead for classes, emergencies, and daily occurrences than to just throw a bunch of stuff in your pack and go. Grab this list of backpack essentials before your teens head off for college!

Backpack Essentials for College|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

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One thing that all the students I asked had in common, was that they didn’t think about any of this before they were in high school or college, depending on the age of student I asked.  Now that they have been in school, these are the things that they make sure that they always carry. 

Each student and schedule will be different.  Sometimes even from one semester to another, so think carefully, and readjust as the semester continues.  *This post may contain affiliate links.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

Here is a list of college student backpack essentials

I gathered this list from six current college students.  There were no differences for the high school students I asked. It just depended on their class load at the time.

  1.  Wireless earbudsThese will come in handy for walking across campus, working out, and listening to music while studying.

     2.  Chapstick– This is long-lasting and has both UVA and UVB protection. It comes in a tube, not a stick, so it won’t melt.  

     3.  Water bottle– This bottle is great with many features.  It folds up, has a wide mouth, leak proof, and is BPA free.

     4.  Planner- Basic or bullet, makes no difference!  Just make sure you use one!


     5.  Jacket or sweatshirt-This is always great if there’s a cold classroom or you are just cold in general.  

     6.  Portable charger– You will need one for your phone for sure, but an extra charger for your laptop is a good idea as well.  You never know what kind of day you will have!  Here is a smaller option.

     7.  Small office supplies-  I asked a number of students what this would include for them.  These are the things that they listed.  Small stapler, post-its, graphing calculator, tape, pencils and pens.  

     8.  A small pouch for personal items-Kleenex, hair ties, your favorite pain reliever, feminine products, and gum. 

     9.  Last but not least, an umbrella!-Don’t get caught out in the rain with one.  This particular one is windproof, which also comes in handy.

This is by no means a complete list of college backpack essentials! 

However, when you are planning on your first semester at college or your last semester, the biggest takeaway I have gotten from the students that I spoke with is to be organized and be prepared for a long day.  One thing I forgot from this list would be hand sanitizer, (these are cute and clip onto your key ring). Don’t forget it!

Be sure to check out my complete lists for dorm room essentials and college school supplies!

Backpack Essentials for College|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

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You might check out these related posts:  What You Didn’t Know You Need in a Dorm Room and Your Parental Rights Change When Your Teen Turns 18.

Have you checked out my book? This spells out all the things that you and your teen need to discuss before they leave home. Start now while your teen is in middle school or high school.  College Bound:  The Ultimate List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School 



What Will Your College Freshman Really Need in the Dorm?

What Will Your College Freshman Really Need in the Dorm?

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Best 10 Items Needed for a Dorm Room


Hey, it’s approaching soon–moving your kiddo into their freshman dorm…  That bittersweet day when your baby-not-baby heads off to college.  How can this be?  Just yesterday he was crawling around in his diaper!  Just yesterday she was playing with her baby doll and twirling around the house in her little tutu!

You blinked, and now they are practically grown!  Seriously, we have to think about moving them out of our houses and into a dorm room at college.  It’s not so bad if you are organized to begin with.  I am here to help! *This post may contain affiliate links.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

teens|college prep|dorm room|dorm

Our teens are no longer babies crawling on the floor.

Now that your teen is on his or her way out the door, here are the top 10 items that they will need for their dorm room.

First, remember that space is limited, so making careful choices is important.

Second, if you have a girl, then she will probably want to decorate and make her room super cute.  If you have a boy, then for the most part, he could probably care less.  My 2 boys are of the care less sort.

The following items are not decorative, but super useful for any college student.

They are in no particular order of importance, but all will be necessary!

Please check out my comprehensive lists on Amazon.  I created lists for Dorm Room Essentials and College School Supplies,  These are pages we created on Amazon’s website where you can actually go shop right from the list!  Check them out!!


What Will Your Freshman Really Need in Their Dorm Room?|www.parentinghighschoolers.com


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Grab everything all at once and have it all delivered right to your door!  You are welcome:)









                    1. Multi-plug outlet/charger–this has outlets, USB ports, and a timer.  This is a MUST!























                    1. Extension cord(s)–this one comes in 4 different sizes and can come in a 2 pack.























                    1. White board–keep track of schedule, lists, write note to roommate etc.  Here are some great accessories!  Pens, graphic chart tape in various colors,  and white board crayons for fun.























                    1. Rug–This is for comfort, as well as style.  It can be a basic monotone rug or multi-colored or patterned one.  Stepping onto a rug is so much nicer than a plain, tiled floor!  Don’t forget a rug gripper pad to keep it in place, and a small vacuum to keep it clean:)























                    1. Command hooks–many different sizes for hanging everything!  Small, medium and large are all available.  These can be used for a million reasons around the dorm room.























                    1. Shower caddy–So handy for the dorm shower, even if you have a suite setup, it keeps all your “stuff” together!  Don’t forget to pick up a pair of shower shoes while you’re at it!























                    1. Prop-up bed wedge–great for sitting up to do homework or watch a great movie!  Get comfy:)























                    1. Amazon Prime for Students–This is the best!  Videos, books for college and your kindle app, and lots more.























                    1. Laptop computer–Every school is different, so you need to have your student check to see which computer is recommended.  My oldest son got this for graduation, and he loves it.  My middle son got this for his 18th birthday, and he loves it.























                                        1. Laundry basket –Don’t forget to grab detergent, stain stick, and dryer sheets while you’re at it.  Also, check out this tiny air purifier that just plugs into an outlet and is the size of your fist.  It does not require a filter, and would be great in a dorm room for freshness.  It will eliminate odors, bacteria, and allergens.
































































































































          1. There you go.  All of the most useful items already in a list for you!  Remember to check out our more comprehensive lists for Dorm Room Essentials and College School Supplies.































Fall semester is quickly approaching.  Enjoy your last month of summer!  Get some hugs in if your kid will let you, and make family time happen!  We are thinking of you because we have been there.  I am going through it for a second time this fall, so I know how quickly this all goes.  Sending my love to you all in this really bittersweet time! What Will Your Freshman Really Need in Their Dorm Room?|www.parentinghighschoolers.com








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Another place with good gift ideas for teens, some of which would be good for dorm rooms, is this post. Check out my Pinterest board- Dorm Room Ideas with all sorts of ideas or College Hacks for even more ideas!  Good luck and have fun!


Your student should try Amazon for College Students!  * Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping (with no minimum order size) * Exclusive deals and promotions for college students


Prime Student 6-month Trial


Do you still have a younger teen at home?  Have you read my book, College Bound:  The Ultimate List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School-get started reading, the younger the better!!



Check out my parent toolkit for the high school years here!

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