A Guidebook for Parents Navigating the New Teen Years

Learn about the “New Teen” and what it means for your parenting approach: Kids are growing up with nearly unlimited access to social media and the Internet, along with unprecedented academic, social, and familial stressors. Starting as early as eight-years-old, children are exposed to information, thought, and emotion that they are developmentally unprepared to process. As a result, saving the typical “teen parenting” strategies for thirteen-year-olds is now years too late.

Urgent advice for parents of teens: Dr. John Duffy’s parenting book is a new and necessary guide because it addresses everything we need to know about our kids’ rapidly changing world, and provides manageable solutions for parents, issue-by-issue. Dr. Duffy, a nationally recognized expert in parenting for nearly twenty-five years, wrote this book as a guide for parents raising children who are growing up too quickly and, as a result, dealing with unresolved adolescent issues that can lead to anxiety and depression.

Understand the unprecedented psychological suffering in our young people: A shift has taken place in how and when children develop socially, emotionally and intellectually. Because of the exposure they face, kids are emotionally overwhelmed at a young age, and therefore, are often continuing to search for a sense of self well into their twenties. Therefore, the more clearly and fully we understand their challenges, the more prepared we will be to help them find their footing. Finally, Dr. Duffy also highlights the good that comes with these challenges, such as the sense of empathy and justice instilled in teenagers starting at a young age. 

Readers of Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety will:

  • Sort through the overwhelming circumstances of today’s teens and better understand the changing landscape of adolescence
  • Come away with a revised, conscious parenting plan more suited to addressing the current needs of the New Teen
  • Discover the joy in parenting again by reclaiming the role of your teen’s ally, guide, and consultant

If you enjoyed parenting books such as The Yes BrainHow to Raise an AdultThe Deepest Well, and The Conscious Parent, then Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety should be next on your list!



Think back to your childhood: a component of the ease of that time was less self-awareness, less insecurity, and few comparisons to others. Younger children didn’t consider, to the degree teenagers did, whether other kids were smarter, more athletic, better looking, and so on. For a time, the pace of brain development provided a layer of protection from some of these insecurities. For those of you who were the exception, you know how painful it can be to make those comparisons, as we tend to evaluate ourselves negatively in every respect, “one down” from others.

Now, picture an eight-, nine-, or ten-year-old today. He or she is likely very aware of their “imperfections,” real or merely perceived: their bodies, their minds, even the socioeconomic status of their family, relative to their peers. And, like the rest of us, they also tend to make “upward” social comparisons, matching themselves up with children they perceive as “better” than them in whatever aspect of self they are evaluating.

And kids today are exposed to the stimuli that fuel these comparisons many times, every single day. We used to have so many distractions and buffers, in our lives as kids, that provided even the most insecure among us a cloak of emotional fuzziness. This blur slips into harsh, blunt focus for children now. It’s right there, in their pocket, waiting to remind them that they are not good enough.

Consider the ideas that have historically made us insecure as adults. Our children are now aware of: the negative, upward comparisons to others; the idea that we may lack something important, or not have enough of it; the idea that we may be unloved or unlovable. These are now entering the consciousness of young children. And the thoughts on these topics are far from occasional, or even daily. Because of the nearly constant influx of stimuli in their lives, the traffic and noise in their very active minds, these thoughts play out nearly constantly for them.

And if these issues regularly create insecurity in us as adults, just imagine the impact they can have on the psyches of children, especially young children. And the imagery is relentless. They feel insecure virtually every day. It’s pretty terrifying, for them and for us.

Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety Dr. John Duffy



“Dr. Duffy’s book is like a travel guide to help us navigate this foreign land we’ve never visited and know nothing about, but desperately want to help our kids understand and thrive in, and maybe even love. This is a must-read I will return to often.”
Heidi Stevens – Chicago Tribune

“John is the real deal. He knows what kids are dealing with, what their struggles are, where their strengths lie, what they know, and what they need. Every parent needs to read this book.”
Giuliana and Bill Rancic, stars of Giuliana and Bill

“Dr. Duffy’s latest book gives parents insight and practical advice they won’t find anywhere else for restoring calm to the frenzied pace of growing up today. Anxiety, stress, and depression are commonplace in teenager’s lives now, but they don’t have to be. You’ll find comfort and wisdom in these pages. A must-read for every parent.”
Michelle Icard, author Middle School Makeover: Improving The Way You and Your Child Experience The Middle School Years

“Any parent of any child should read this book and learn from Dr. John Duffy. It just might save your kid’s life.”
H. Prather, author of The Mindful Parent

“This brilliant book focuses on all-the-things: the anxiety, depression, relationships, vaping, sex, grades. It’s really comprehensive and honest. The most important part of John’s work/writing is that he’s really positive and optimistic about teens. He respects their viewpoints and supports parents in developing a more respectful and connected relationship with their kids.”
Cathy Cassini Adams, author of The Self-Aware Parent and co-host of Zen Parenting Radio

“It’s no big secret that modern teens face unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. Depression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal ideation hover in the backdrop of their lives. What parents of modern teens need is a roadmap to learn how to help teens thrive (instead of simply survive), and John Duffy is here to help. In his signature empathic and straight forward tone, Duffy shines a spotlight on the many contributing factors to the rise in anxiety and depression among our teens, and provides a clear plan to help parents understand their teens and give them the support they need. Duffy’s focus is right where it should be – on the importance of building the parent-teen connection. Highly recommended for parents, educators, coaches, and all other people who work with teens.”
Katie Hurley, LCSW, author of The Depression Workbook for Teens and No More Mean Girls 

“John Duffy’s years of clinical experience and deep empathy for teens and their families comes through on every page. This comprehensive book offers context for the anxiety and depression some adolescents experience and helps parents find ways to understand, validate and support their teen through the challenging years of coming of age. The many examples for Duffy’s clinical work will resonate with parents who are seeking to understand their teen’s day to day experiences.”
Devorah Heitner, PhD, author of Raising Digital Natives