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  • Writer's picturedrmacintire

Recommended books for parents

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Sometimes, it helps to have a good resource to talk about with a Psychologist or other professional who may be helping you or your child. This blog will be updated as I make new recommendations, so check back periodically, if you are interested.

The links to individual books go to "Bookshop," a really cool company who gives 10% to local bookshops for any purchases through the link.

Taking Charge of ADHD by Dr. Russell Barkley, Ph.D.

Dr. Barkley has established himself as one of the seminal experts on ADHD and other behavioral disorders of childhood. His recommendations are based in science, but easy to read and understand. He also provides practical information about how to create behavior change in kiddos with ADHD.

Your Defiant Child by Dr. Russell Barkley, Ph.D.

In this book, Dr. Barkley speaks directly to parents of children ages 5-12 who suffer with disruptions in behavior that result in problems in school, home or other settings. Dr. Barkley utilizes the science of Behavioral Therapy to teach parents how to modify behaviors in their children. This is best supplemented with sessions with a Psychologist (or other mental health provider) who has training in Behavior Therapy or Applied Behavior Analysis.

Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions Into Adulthood by Dr. Lisa Damour, Ph.D.

Dr. Damour, a Licensed Psychologist who specializes in working with adolescents, provides a parent's guide to helping teen girls navigate adolescence. Her writing is relatable, insightful, and rooted in the scientific literature. She provides examples from her clinical practice and offers sample statements that parents can use to make connections with their teen girls. If you've struggled with understanding or just worrying about your girl as she reaches her teen years, this book is for you.

Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls by Dr. Lisa Damour, Ph.D.

Dr. Damour addresses the increase in anxiety in girls and young women in this book, written with the same relatable and well-referenced style as Untangled. If you are looking for a guide to understanding the role of anxiety and the influence of stress in girls' lives, this book is for you. For parents of girls who are seeking to better understand the effects of stress on their daughters AND for those who are seeking practical advice for identifying and reducing toxic anxiety while promoting protective intuition (e.g., when fear should not be ignored) and resilience in the face of challenge.

The Bipolar Child by Dr. Demitri Papolos, M.D. and Janice Papolos (2006)

While this book was written before the latest update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Dr. Papolos offers valuable insight into the presentation of Bipolar Disorders in Children. If you have a family history of substance abuse or alcoholism and/or mood disorders (e.g., depression bipolar disorder), and your child is showing signs of extreme mood fluctuations, severe irritability, and severe behavioral disturbance, you may benefit from learning more about how Bipolar Disorder presents in children, perhaps long before the official clinical diagnosis can be made. This book is lacking information about the diagnosis of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, a relatively new diagnosis added to the DSM-5 in 2013, when the 5th edition was released. It is still a deeply valuable resource and may help to address parents' concerns and prepare them for the future.

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