The Teen Interpreter: A Guide to the Challenges and Joys of Raising Adolescents (Hardcover)

The Teen Interpreter: A Guide to the Challenges and Joys of Raising Adolescents By Terri Apter Cover Image

The Teen Interpreter: A Guide to the Challenges and Joys of Raising Adolescents (Hardcover)

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The Teen Interpreter is a generous roadmap for enjoying the most challenging, and rewarding, parenting years.


Once children hit adolescence, it seems as if overnight “I love you” becomes “leave me alone,” and any question from a parent can be dismissed with one word: “fine.” But while they may not show it, teenagers rely on their parents’ curiosity, delight, and connection to guide them through this period of exuberant growth as they navigate complex changes to their bodies, their thought processes, their social world, and their self-image.


In The Teen Interpreter, psychologist Terri Apter looks into teens’ minds—minds that are experiencing powerful new emotions and awareness of the world around them—to show how parents can revitalize their relationship with their children. She illuminates the rapid neurological developments of a teen’s brain, along with their new, complex emotions, and offers strategies for disciplining unsafe actions constructively and empathetically. Apter includes up-to-the moment case studies that shed light on the anxieties and vulnerabilities that today’s teens face, and she thoughtfully explores the positives and pitfalls of social media.


With perceptive conversation exercises that synthesize research from more than thirty years in the field, Apter illustrates how teens signal their changing needs and identities—and how parents can interpret these signals and see the world through their teens’ eyes. The Teen Interpreter is a generous roadmap for enjoying the most challenging, and rewarding, parenting years.



Terri Apter is a writer, psychologist, and retired Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge. Her ten books include The Sister Knot, Difficult Mothers, and What Do You Want from Me? She lives in Cambridge, England.
Product Details ISBN: 9781324006510
ISBN-10: 132400651X
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: March 29th, 2022
Pages: 304
Language: English
Apter brings some needed clarity to the oft-baffling teenage years in this eye-opening parenting guide… [Her] reassuring tone and ability to cut through the chaos give her advice weight. This is a must-read for parents navigating their children’s tumultuous teenage years.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A refreshing and practical guide to raising teens... Apter’s approach is original, thoroughly researched, and eminently constructive. Her strategies for using empathy and active listening to manage teen behavior are compassionate, clear, and proactive... A wonderfully atypical teen parenting book that leans into joy.
— Kirkus Reviews

A practical, informative guide to communicating with and understanding adolescents.
— Library Journal

[Apter] gives parents solid suggestions on ways they can keep their composure and let their kids know that they are trying to understand their point of view... [She] offers welcome insights and strategies for living through these stressful years.
— Booklist

Few adults can see the world through teenage eyes or write about it as eloquently as Terri Apter. In this insightful book, she documents what she calls the interplay of passion, connection, and rejection that marks the dynamic relationship between parents and their teenagers. The Teen Interpreter is a perceptive guide for parents.

— Ruthellen Josselson, author of Paths to Fulfillment

If you ever were a teenager, know a teenager, or are living with a teenager, you will find this wise and compassionate book to be a survival manual. These are hard times for teens, but harder for parents—or is it the other way around? Terri Apter will show you both sides, and the way forward.
— Carol Tavris, coauthor of Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)

Terri Apter’s deep expertise on the development of the human brain gives fresh understanding of what it means to be a teenager in the twenty-first century—and how as parents we can love and support them best. It’s a brilliant guide on how to move from confrontation to collaboration with your teen, to make these years as rewarding as possible.
— Julie Etchingham, newscaster, reporter, and presenter

In this wonderful book, Terri Apter demystifies the often destabilizing period of adolescence. She’s done so compassionately, grounding her advice in sound evidence. Both parents and teens will recognize themselves in her lively, often moving, case examples, and both will appreciate her guidance.
— Janet Reibstein, professor emerita in psychology, University of Exeter

Terri Apter shows remarkable insight into the challenges teens face when navigating life and relationships. Her discussion of the ‘looking-glass self,’ and what it?reflects, plays to the heart of what first inspired me to create The Female Lead. I am a huge fan of this amazing author and original thinker
— Edwina Dunn, founder of The Female Lead

Superb! Terri Apter deftly and authoritatively integrates the latest scientific research with psychological insights and the vivid accounts of parents and teens themselves. This informative, thought-provoking, and helpful book will empower parents to communicate with, and support, their teens.
— Susan Golombok, Director of the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge

Terri Apter is a true expert when it comes to knowing and helping teenagers flourish. In The Teen Interpreter, she explains the workings of the teenage mind with clarity and warmth and suggests ways to encourage deeper understanding between parents and their teenager. Everyone who has a teen in their life needs this wonderful book.

— Linda Blair, clinical psychologist and author of Birth Order