Inside: For your next walk or jog around the neighborhood, or when you’re waiting in the car to pick up your kids, here are the best podcasts for parents of teens that are chock full of tips and advice.
Many parents find they are woefully unprepared for parenting teens. Yes, we were once young people ourselves, but the world today is much different than it was then. For better or worse, we know more about what our teens are doing, and with constantly changing technology in this digital age, often understand less. We could certainly use some help, but as our kids become more independent, (as they should) our parenting support networks break down. (Then there are the worries about broadcasting our teens’ personal business and the impacts that may have.)
We may be shocked to discover that somehow parenting through the teenage years doesn’t leave us with extra time. In fact, we may feel that we are even busier than when they were small. Much of this time is spent driving from one place to another, or waiting. The good news is that we can put these “down” times to better use. Time spent walking laps around the perimeter of the soccer field or sitting in a dark car waiting for the bus to return after a band competition can be great opportunities to get expert advice and resources – via a podcast. (And you don’t have to be tech savvy to access them!)
Here are ten podcasts that focus on challenges faced by parents of teenagers. Some have been around for years; others are fairly new. Some episodes focus on very specific challenges, others provide numerous suggestions on how to foster a better relationship with your teen. Some are hosted by parents who have been there, others are hosted by psychologists or other health professionals. Many also have related blogs. And don’t skip past teen podcasts either—we can learn a lot from listening to those too, so one of the ones in this list is hosted by a teen. All of these foster hope—that we can not only survive parenting teens, but that we can do it well and thrive.
You may also like these 10 Of The Best Must Listen To Podcasts For Teens that you can enjoy together.
The Best Podcasts for Parents of Teenagers
Former White House correspondent Reena Ninan and Dr. Lisa Damour, author of bestselling parenting books Untangled, Under Pressure, and The Emotional Lives of Teenagers are the hosts of this podcast that provides practical advice on all aspects of parenting tweens and teens. Each half hour segment addresses specific parenting questions, such as “How and When Do I Give My Kid a Phone?” and “My Son and His Friend Use Slurs, Can I Stop This?” as well as some self-care issues for parents, such as learning to not ride your kid’s “emotional rollercoaster” and coping with the new reality of being part of the “sandwich generation.”
In this weekly podcast, mom Jessica Pfeiffer and Dr. Ken Wilgus, psychologist and author of Feeding the Mouth That Bites You, talk about issues that concern parents of teens. In 15- to 30-minute bites, they offer advice on how to react to common teen behaviors such as hiding in their rooms or expressing more anger than seems appropriate, as well as encouragement for parents. They reassure that as parents, we don’t need to be perfect, “Good Enough” Parenting is just fine. They also offer tips on how to talk so teens will listen and foster positive sibling relationships and even an episode that looks at dads’ point of view.
In this podcast, moms and bloggers Melissa Neeb and Carol Moore talk about the hard truths of raising teens. Each half-hour episode starts with a getting-to-know-you question of each of the hosts before diving into topics relevant to parents of teens. They have tackled subjects such as household rules, living with teen drivers, coping with the worries that come with parenting teens, and the unexpected but conflicting emotions we may experience as our teens and young adults graduate.
Host Dr. Michelle Lloyd, a transition success coach, talks with a variety of experts with a focus on the anxiety related to teens transitioning out of the home. In mostly half hour sessions, she covers topics such as teen bullying, raising confident kids, the college application process, letting go, and coping with our own very big feelings around all of this.
Colleen O’Grady, MA, mom, therapist and author of Dial Down the Drama: Reduce Conflict and Reconnect with Your Teenage Daughter—A Guide for Mothers Everywhere, shares wisdom gleaned from her therapy practice and interviews with other professionals and parents. In 45-minute episodes, this mom and therapist investigates topics such as fostering confidence and self-esteem, manners, eating disorders, and emotional intelligence, as well as tips to help be a better parent and navigating your changing future.
Parents and experts Dr. Cara Natterson and Vanessa Kroll Bennett share practical advice on helping parents guide (and cope with) their teens through the emotional rollercoaster of puberty. They talk about both the physical and emotional aspects of this challenging time and offer tips for parents on navigating tech and social media issues. In addition to their own experience and knowledge, they also feature interviews with other medical and mental health experts. Past episodes have covered topics such as sex ed, discipline, friendship issues, executive function skills and even an episode on grandparenting with guest Henry Winkler.
Host Sadie Sutton, a 19-year-old psychology student at University of Pennsylvania, has first-hand knowledge of intensive treatment for depression and anxiety, as a patient. While most of the 30- to 45-minute episodes are directed at teens themselves (but are worth a listen for their perspective), a curated collection for parents provides a different look at teen mental health and offers guidance on how to support your teen. Episodes include conversations on coping with a loved one’s mental health diagnosis and information about some potential treatments such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Nutritional Psychiatry.
Each week, Ann Coleman, former attorney, mom and advocate for parenting teens drops one deep dive (30- to 60-minute) and one shorter (10- to 20-minute) episode meant to “help parents understand, relate to, and parent” their teens. She relies on her own extensive research and the occasional interview with guest experts. This podcast focuses on relationships, academics, social media and mental health, including tough topics such as the impact of internet porn, teen suicide, school avoidance/refusal, and struggles with sexual identity.
In this weekly podcast, researcher and author Andy Earle interviews experts on a variety of topics relevant to parents of teenagers. Each 20- to 45-minute episode covers topics such as mental health, money smarts, improving your relationship, learning differences, addiction and talking about tough things (like S.E.X.).
10. Teenage Kicks
Blogger and mom Helen Wills hosts weekly chats with experts (including some teens themselves) on topics related to mental health and issues that concern today’s teens. In 45-minute to one hour segments, she and her guests (who have first-hand knowledge) discuss tough topics and offer practical, actionable advice. Episodes address concerns both common, such as teen acne and sleep issues, and much more serious, such as mental health issues and suicidal ideation.
Bonus: Listen to this podcast WITH Your Teens
Once a week, comedian Chris Duffy spends about 30 minutes talking with experts on how to be a better person. There are some episodes specifically for parents of teens, such as “How to be an adult – and how to raise one” but also many, such as “The secret to making new friends as an adult” and “How to have curious conversations in dangerously divided times” that can be equally beneficial to older teens (who will soon be navigating new challenges) and their parents (who will soon be looking at a new normal). Listening together ma spark some interesting (and enlightening) conversations.
We love podcasts, but we also love books! Check out The Emotional Lives of Teenagers by Lisa Damour for additional help on navigating these challenging years of raising teens.