A practical guide to understanding teens, from bestselling author and youth advocate Josh Shipp.

“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

Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child found that every kid who succeeds in the face of adversity has had at least one committed relationship with a supportive adult.

But Josh Shipp didn’t need Harvard to understand that.

Once an at-risk foster kid, he was facing down a bleak future that was likely to include prison or homelessness—until he met the grown-up who changed his life. Enter Rodney, the foster parent who refused to quit on Shipp and finally got him to believe in himself.

Now, in The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans, Shipp shows us how to be that sort of caring adult in a teenager’s life. Stressing the need for mutual respect, trust, and encouragement, he identifies three key mindsets crucial to understanding teens. He breaks down the distinct phases of teenage life, examining the challenges at each phase, and offers revelatory stories that take us deep inside the teen brain.

Shipp shares field-tested, game-changing strategies from top professionals and provides word-for-word scripts that troubleshoot over twenty common teen challenges, including:


When my teen messes up, how can I help them take ownership?


How do I get a teen to talk to me? They just grunt.


My teen blew it. My trust is gone. Where do we go from here?


Help! They are being harassed—online or face-to-face.

Difficult & Awkward Conversations

Drugs. Death. Sex. Oh my.


Written in Shipp’s playful but authoritative voice, The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans lays out unflinchingly practical ways to make a difference in a teen’s life. As Shipp reminds us, raising a respectable adult comes down to investing in teens and giving them the boundaries, time, and support they need to thrive.

And that means every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.