The days of keeping a dog-eared copy of What to Expect the Toddler Years at the ready are long gone, and it’s probably been quite a while since you’ve reached for a how-to parenting guide. Thankfully, you and your child have both made it though the adolescent rite of passage that is high school, and you’re both nervously eager to start this next phase of your lives. For you, it’s the beginning of your nest emptying; for them, it’s time to leap out of it. But for both of you, it’s a phase of life that may have you getting back to how-to parenting books, and have them needing a how-to-adult book! I’ve got just the titles to see you both though the next year.
5 Books for the High School Graduate
The ABCs of Adulthood: An Alphabet of Life Lessons by Deborah Copaken and Randy Polumbo
Based on a viral article that Copaken wrote to her high school graduate, and featuring the creative photography of each letter by Randy Polumbo, ABCs of Adulthood offers witty yet very useful tips, sage wisdom, and practical advice for the college-bound crowd.
The Her Campus Guide to College Life: How to Manage Relationships, Stay Safe and Healthy, Handle Stress, and Have the Best Years of Your Life by Stephanie Kaplan Lewis
Covering all the typical stresses facing young female freshmen, this gem covers everything from dating, stress, study habits, campus safety, forming strong female friendships, and even navigating the first few years after college graduation. A must-read for first time co-eds.
Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening by Becky Blades
If all your mom’s nagging and common sense had a baby, this would be it. This is almost 200 pages of life advice on steroids, with just the right amount of humor, honesty, and unpretentious wisdom that is a great read for those just starting out in the world.
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College by Harlan Cohen
All the stuff you didn’t think you’d need to know, well…you need to know it, and you can find it here. From how to live with 40 strangers, basic money management, learning collegiate social norms, to how not to fail organic chemistry, this straightforward and honest title holds nothing back (which is exactly what a sheltered 18-year-old just may need.)
The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful Advice for Studying, Socializing, and Everything In Between by Nora Bradbury-Haehl and Bill McGarvey
An out-of-the-box guide with soulful advice on academics, relationships, and lifestyle that is comingled with guidance on how to cope with the spiritual, emotional, and ethical questions facing today’s young college students. This companion offers a more holistic and gentle approach to managing that first year away.
5 Books for Parents Sending Their Kid to College
From Mom to Me Again: How I Survived My First Empty-Nest Year and Reinvented the Rest of My Life by Melissa T. Shultz
Part memoir, part self-help guide, Shultz’s journey of embracing her empty nest and the process of reinventing and transforming her life is told with candor, sincerity, and just the right amount of humor. Moms who are asking, “Now what?” this book is for you.
The Empty Nest: 31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love, and Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop by Karen Stabiner
Told through the works of 31 writers, these heartfelt essays about life after the children leave will leave you inspired and relieved to know there is, in fact, a life after parenthood.
The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only—A Parent’s Guide to the New College Experience by Harlan Cohen
How to deal with the good, the bad, and the very ugly parts of your child’s first year away at college. How much is too much when it comes to contact, strategies for letting go without the tears, and supportive stories about the experience from “been there, done that” parents make this a must-read for first-time college parents.
Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years, Fifth Edition by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger
Recommended reading for parents by a majority of colleges, Coburn’s book is a well-rounded and comprehensive guide to all things letting go, including how to encourage independence, and when to intervene. This guide also covers how to talk intimacy and identity issues with your young adult. Full of practical and psychological advice and at almost 500 pages, this book is sure to answer almost any question you may have about that first year.
The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up by Barbara K. Hofer and Abigail Sullivan Moore
You can always be in contact, right? A psychology professor and journalist tackle this issue head-on, as we’re all trying to balance how much is too much contact these days. With strategies on how much or how little is needed to forge a healthy young adult/parent relationship in our highly connected world, this is a must-read for the 21st-century parent and very connected family.