Resources: Youth Workers & Parents of Teens


Youth Workers & Parents of Teens

Find Focus on the Family broadcasts, best-in-class books,
referral recommendations, and more.

Launch Into the Teen Years Kit

This six-session online video-based program created by Focus on the Family will help you and your preteen talk about how to make great decisions and soar with confidence. 

Online Video Session Titles:

  • Who Am I? – How God Sees the True You
  • The One About Family, Friends, and Enemies – BFF’s and Boy-Girl Relationships
  • Of Memes & Meanies – Bullies, Criticism, and Voices Worth Listening To
  • Bodies, Sex & Stuff – God Created You
  • What’s Happening to My Body? – Puberty and Relationships
  • The Big Talk – God’s Design for Sex

The Kit Contains:

  • Parent guide
  • Child participant journal
  • Key-code access to online video content
  • Tips on engaging your child, along with questions and activities that will encourage thoughtful consideration and discussion

Additional Details: The video series provides a comprehensive overview of sexual issues related to adolescence and how to talk about them. Viewers follow the experiences of eight young preteens at a camp as they move through activities and challenges that follow each session topic.


The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers by Gary Chapman
Learn to understand the path your teen is traveling, how to handle their needs for independence and responsibility, and how best to love them during a changing season.

The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity by Alex McFarland
McFarland answers some of the most thought-provoking questions kids have about Christianity. Find relationship-building tips, simple explanations of theological terms, and ideas for using different teaching styles to help children grow in faith.

Abandoned Faith by Alex McFarland and Jason Jimenez (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home”

Aggressive Girls, Clueless Boys by Dennis Rainey (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“7 conversations You Must Have With Your Son (And 7 Questions to Ask Your Daughter)”

Beating the College Debt Trap by Alex Chediak
“Getting a Degree Without Going Broke”

Beyond Belief to Convictions by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
This comprehensive text presents evidence for the deity and incarnation of God, the Bible and its reliability, and Christ’s resurrection—and it provides a blueprint to live out those beliefs.

Boundaries With Teens by Dr. John Townsend
Discover how to set healthy boundaries for yourself and your teen. This book also includes a section on how to deal with drug and alcohol use, sex, defiance, school, and disrespect.

A Bump in Life by Amy Ford (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“True Stories of Hope & Courage During an Unplanned Pregnancy”

Burning Bush 2.0 by Paul Asay (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“How Pop Culture Replaced the Prophet”

The DNA of Parent-Teen Relationships by Dr. Gary Smalley and Dr. Greg Smalley (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
Drawing on their personal experiences, as well as those of over 5,000 teens they surveyed, father and son authors offer critical insights to help parents promote a healthy, lasting relationship with their teen.

The Digital Invasion: How Technology Is Shaping You and Your Relationships by Dr. Archibald Hart and Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
The Harts discuss the way digital technology affects us physically, mentally, and spiritually. They offer biblically based tips to help us wisely steward our digital lives.

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris
“A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations”

Equipping Parents to Respond to Gender-Confusing Messages in Schools  (PDF)
The sexual chaos occurring in our society is rapidly finding its way into our classrooms. How can Christian families respond with wisdom, strength, and grace?

Get Lost: Your Guide to Finding True Love by Dannah Gresh (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
Pursuing love isn’t just about finding the right guy. It’s about seeking love the way God designed it. Gresh helps teen girls learn to focus first on God so that a young man has no choice but to seek Him before pursuing a young woman.

Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild by Mary Kassian (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
Kassian’s compare-and-contrast character study of the Proverbs 7 and 31 women will help you become a woman who honors God.

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
Learn skills that every healthy child needs to master: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention. Set healthy boundaries regarding digital entertainment, and build stronger family connections.

Have a New Teenager by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman
“From Mouthy and Moody to Respectful and Responsible in Five Days”

Is College Worth It? by William Bennett and David Wilezol (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“A former United States Secretary of Education and a liberal arts graduate expose the broken promise of higher education.”

It’s Great to Be a Girl by Dannah Gresh (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“A Guide to Your Changing Body”

It’s Great to Be a Guy by Jarrod Sechler with Dannah Gresh (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“God Has a Plan for You … And Your Body!”

It’s Not Too Late by Dan Dupee
“The Essential Part You Play in Shaping Your Teen’s Faith”

Know Your Why by Ken Costa
“Finding and Fulfilling Your Calling in Life”

Life on the Edge: Timeless Insights for a New Generation by Dr. James Dobson
Dobson gives teens practical principles for navigating the challenges of life and making wise decisions.

Logged On and Tuned Out by Vicki Courtney (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“A Non-Techie’s Guide to Parenting a Tech-Savvy Generation”

Losing Control & Liking It: How to Set Your Teen (and Yourself) Free by Tim Sanford
Think it’s up to you to make your kids turn out right? Sanford suggests a better way: Rely on the example of how God parents His children. Learn to release your fears about your teen’s future and find freedom in God’s care for both of you. 

Parenting Isn’t for Cowards by Dr. James Dobson (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“The ‘You Can Do It’ Guide for Hassled Parents”

Planet Middle School by Dr. Kevin Leman
“Helping Your Child Through the Peer Pressure, Awkward Moments, & Emotional Drama”

Preparing for Adolescence: How to Survive the Coming Years of Change by Dr. James Dobson
Topics that trouble teens most are discussed, including inferiority, conformity, puberty, the meaning of love, and the search for identity.

Preparing Your Teens for College by Alex Chediak
Chediak helps you instill in your teen how to strengthen character, internalize faith, pursue healthy friendships, practice financial responsibility, and build a strong work ethic.

Raising a Modern-Day Knight by Robert Lewis
“A Father’s Role in Guiding His to Son to Authentic Manhood”

Raising a Modern-Day Princess by Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“Inspiring Purpose, Value, and Strength in Your Daughter”

Raising Body-Confident Daughters by Dannah Gresh (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“8 Conversations to Have With Your Tween”

Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World by Jill Rigby (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
“Parents often focus on self-esteem rather than self-respect. [But] there’s a big difference. It’s the difference between self-centered and others-centered children, the difference between performance-driven and purpose-focused teenagers.”

Screens and Teens: Connecting With Our Kids in a Wireless World by Kathy Koch
Koch recognizes positive aspects of the digital age but also explores how technology contributes to self-centeredness, negative behavior, and beliefs that inhibit spiritual growth. Find solutions to help teens remember only God can bring contentment.

Sticky Faith Youth Worker Edition by Kara E. Powell, Brad M. Griffin, and Cheryl A. Crawford
This resource pairs helpful research on youth ministry with tested program ideas. Foster a faith that sticks with your teens long after they’ve graduated.

Stolen: The True Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor by Katariina Rosenblatt
Rosenblatt shares about being trapped in a child trafficking ring and how she overcame the cycle of violence—and now helps others escape.

Thriving at College by Alex Chediak
“Make Great Friends, Keep Your Faith, and Get Ready for the Real World”

What Are You Waiting For? The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex by Dannah Gresh (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
Written for young women aged 16 and older, Gresh explains why a casual attitude toward sex results in pain and disappointment.

When Your Teenager Becomes the Stranger in Your House Gregory Jantz, Ph.D.
“What’s going on with your teenager? Is it just the ups and downs of adolescence, or is it something more?”

With All Due Respect by Nina Roesner and Debbie Hitchcock
“40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship With Your Teens & Tweens”

Your Teenager Is Not Crazy by Dr. Jeramy and Jerusha Clark
“Understanding Your Teen’s Brain Can Make You a Better Parent”


Brio magazine (Focus on the Family) ages 13–17
This magazine for teen girls offers faith-based articles, music and entertainment features, and DIY tips.

Addressing Video Games in Today’s Culture (Bob Hoose, Carl Kerby, Pastor Drew Thornwall)
Video game players and reviewers describe positive aspects of video games (problem solving), as well as negatives (addiction and hidden spiritual messages). They advise parents to teach kids discernment about which games to play.

Bringing Home the Prodigals (Rob Parsons)
Parsons shares his heart for prodigals and their families. We sometimes make people prodigals by being critical of unimportant things, but Parsons encourages us to consider the best ways to pray for and demonstrate God’s love.

The Challenges of College Life (Panel)
Several college presidents share their perspectives on common challenges facing students—discussing the dangers that exist, as well as the positive opportunities for making a successful spiritual transition.

Communicating With Your Teen Daughter (Susie Shellenberger)
Shellenberger talks about the pressures teen girls face, advising parents about how to approach issues such as bullying, self-esteem, relating to the opposite sex, social media involvement, and depression.

Connecting With Your Teen (Jill Savage)
Preparing your teen for adulthood takes grace and perseverance. Learn to appropriately release decision-making to your teen so they can successfully tackle life’s problems and make wise choices.

Developing Body Confidence in Your Daughter (Dannah Gresh)
Parents can teach their daughters to develop a healthy body image and avoid the cultural trap many fall into by believing worth is based on physical beauty. 

Discerning God’s Will While in College (Dr. Kneeland Brown, Esther Fleece)
Knowing how to discern God’s will and having a solid Christian worldview beforehand can help prepare teens for college—and provide a solid foundation for the marriage and parenting years.

Eating Disorders: What Today’s Parents Need to Know (Dr. Dena Cabrera)
Cabrera shares her own struggles with an eating disorder in college and offers advice and encouragement to parents, helping them understand why Christian girls often wrestle with disordered eating.

Establishing Healthy Boundaries With Your Teens (Dr. John Townsend)
Townsend talks about ways to enjoy the final years of childrearing as you give your teen more choices, freedom, and grace in their transition to adulthood.

Exposing the Dark World of Human Trafficking (Linda Smith, “Briana”)
Smith, of Shared Hope International, and Briana, a victim of sex trafficking, encourage parents and youth leaders to help teens be aware of signs that someone is being trafficked—or that someone wants to control them.

Finding God’s Mercy When Life Is Messy (Vicki Courtney)
Courtney shares about her son confessing that he and his fiancée were pregnant. Speaking to parents of prodigal children, she offers hope and encouragement in the midst of difficult situations. And describing how her past choices—including an abortion at age 17—shaped her Christian walk, Courtney challenges us to embrace grace and live out a God-centered faith.

Finding God’s Purpose for Your Life (Ken Costa)
Costa shares lessons he’s learned about cutting through distractions to discern God’s voice and find freedom in serving Him. Costa helps listeners of all ages work through the process of finding God’s calling.

Finding Hope After My Darkest Day (Kristen Anderson)
Anderson shares her testimony of surviving being run over by a train in a suicide attempt—losing her legs in the process. She recounts the aftermath and coming to faith in Christ, and she talks about what parents can do to reach out to a depressed teen.

Finding Hope Through Family Tragedy (Keith Becker)
Keith’s family was on a first-name basis with deputies who broke up his parents’ fights. He embraced a party lifestyle in high school and encouraged his younger brother, Todd, to do the same. But then Todd died in a drunk-driving accident. Keith shares the account of their tragedy and God’s grace: Keith’s parents were saved, and he founded a ministry to help teens.

Game Plan for Parenting: The Teen Years (Dr. Kevin Leman)
Leman challenges parents to stop fighting your teens. Instead, study them, learn from them, give positive reinforcement whenever possible—and never underestimate the importance of humor.

Getting Lost in God’s Love  (Dannah Gresh)
Sharing personal stories and examples from others, Gresh encourages young women to learn the importance of getting lost in God’s love and finding fulfillment in Him before considering a relationship with the opposite sex.

God’s Grace for Wild Women (Mary Kassian)
Kassian encourages women of all ages to not conform to human tendencies—especially in light of today’s culture—but to become biblically wise in relating to the Lord and to men.

Going to College Without Going Into Debt (Dr. Alex Chediak and Lisa Anderson)
Chediak and Anderson discuss alternatives to signing on the dotted line for big loans. They offer wisdom and practical advice for parents and young adults.

Guiding Your Family’s Media Choices (Paul Asay)
Asay, Focus on the Family’s Plugged In editor, offers guidance for navigating your family safely through today’s many entertainment choices.

Guiding Your Young Adult to a Vibrant Faith (Dan Dupee)
Parents often face anxiety about their child’s faith walk. Dupee addresses the importance of asking God for wisdom and moving from a place of control to influence. Be encouraged that your kids can thrive spiritually in college.

Helping Kids Make Good Life Choices (Dr. Tim and Mrs. Darcy Kimmel)
The Kimmels discuss parenting with eternity in mind. They remind parents to emphasize true greatness—not through accomplishments, but by building solid relationships, developing godly character, and cultivating faith in the Lord.

Helping Kids Relate in a Screen Driven World (Dr. Gary Chapman, Arlene Pellicane)
Chapman and Pellicane discuss the dangers of overusing digital gadgets and media. With practical advice on setting boundaries, they suggest ways to model healthy usage and positive relational skills.

Helping Sons Guard Their Purity (Dennis Rainey)
Rainey describes the growing phenomenon of girls who are targeting boys in middle school and younger, pursuing and propositioning them for sex. He urges parents to be proactive with their sons during the tween and teen years, providing moral and sexual training based on God’s Word.

Helping Teens Redirect Their Cravings Toward God (Shaunti Feldhahn, Lysa TerKeurst)
Feldhahn and TerKeurst offer suggestions to help teens discover how to direct their emotional, physical, and material cravings toward God and find their value and self-worth in Him.

Helping Young Women Understand Sex in Today’s Culture (Dannah Gresh)
In the midst of a culture that misuses and misunderstands sex, Gresh outlines what God intended for sexuality and why the Bible urges women and men to save sexual expression until marriage.

Helping Your Daughter Understand Romantic Relationships (Jessie Minassian)
Minassian shares how she used to obsess over romance—and she believes most teen girls struggle with this. She offers practical, biblical advice to parents on navigating boy-girl relationships, dating, purity, and more.

Helping Your Millennial Child Reconnect With God (Alex McFarland and Jason Jimenez)
McFarland and Jimenez, worldview and apologetics experts, discuss cultural forces that shape Millennials. They share how to model Christianity so that young adults grow into adulthood with a thriving faith.

Hope for Teen Moms (John and Tricia Goyer)
By the time Tricia graduated from high school, she’d experienced an abortion and given birth to a baby boy. Hear her message of Christ’s hope to pregnant teens and their parents—and be encouraged to pursue God’s plan in difficult circumstances.

Hope for Women Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy (Amy Ford, Joanna Brown)
Ford and Brown were active participants in their Christian faith, but both found themselves pregnant and unmarried as teens. They share about dealing with the consequences of these pregnancies, and they offer hope to others going through the same experience. They also challenge the Church to be an accepting place of refuge and encouragement to these girls, so they’ll not only choose life for their babies but also have the support team they need to move forward in their lives.

Human Trafficking: What You Need to Know (Linda Smith, “Lacy”)
Smith, founder of Shared Hope International, and Lacy discuss human trafficking of minors in the U.S. Lacy shares her story of being trafficked, starting at the age of 12, and of finding help and learning to forgive her perpetrators. Linda shares the signs of trafficking so parents, children, youth leaders, and teachers know what to watch for.

Love Healed My Wounds (Dave Roever)
Roever was badly disfigured during the Vietnam War. He encourages young people to hold on through hard times, to not throw their lives away with alcohol and drugs, and to stand strong for what they believe.

Making Your Home Safe and Healthy (Jill Savage)

Savage describes intentional ways parents can make their home healthy for kids, such as having dinner together, being more playful, and encouraging dreams. She shares personal examples of how life can be messy, and she offers encouragement that God can work through our imperfections to make family life better.

Navigating Beauty and Body Image With Teen Daughters (Jessie Minassian)
Minassian talks about the importance of gaining a healthy perspective in a culture that drives teen girls and young women to chase impossible standards. 

Parenting Concepts That Work (Dr. John Rosemond)
When parents emphasize accomplishment and success, many children are inadvertently taught to focus on themselves. Rosemond encourages a return to the biblical model by teaching the three R’s: respect, responsibility, and resourcefulness.

Parenting for Fun and Profit (Ken Davis)
With characteristic humor, Davis offers parents advice from his book How to Live With Your Kids When You’ve Already Lost Your Mind.

Parenting Tips for the Middle School Years (Dr. Kevin Leman and Mrs. Jean Daly)
Leman and Daly encourage parents in a discussion based on Leman’s book Planet Middle School: Helping Your Child Through the Peer Pressure, Awkward Moments & Emotional Drama.

Parenting Your Teens When Times Are Tough (Dr. Greg Smalley)
Smalley encourages parents who are struggling with the challenges of raising teens.

Parenting Your Tweens and Teens With Respect (Nina Roesner and Debbie Hitchcock)
Guests offer practical advice from their book, With All Due Respect. Hitchcock also shares about the prodigal journey of one of her teens. Regardless of the choices your teen makes, God is still in control.

Practical Advice for Drug-Proofing Your Kids (Glenn Williams)
Williams provides ideas to help parents talk to their kids about drugs and peer pressure. He shares the importance of lifestyle modeling and teachable moments in preparing children to make good choices.

Practical Advice for Parenting Teens (Dr. Kevin Leman, Jean Daly)
Leman shares advice about responsibility, respect, and learning from natural consequences. He explains the importance of parents being authoritative (establishing guidelines and maintaining respectful dialogue between parent and child) rather than authoritarian (establishing and enforcing rules and punishment).

Practical Advice for Raising Media-Savvy Kids (Bob Waliszewski)
Waliszewski talks about his eyes opening to how God wants to be part of our media choices. He offers practical advice on the importance of setting entertainment guidelines for your family.

Preparing Teens for the College Years (Alex Chediak)
Chediak suggests how to invest in the spiritual growth and maturity of young adults, while offering advice on guiding them toward an academic and career path that fits their bent.

Preparing Your Teen for Life (Dr. Jim Burns)
Burns talks about balancing the natural desire for freedom that teenagers feel with realistic discipline and learning how to wisely navigate culture. Ultimately, parents need to help teens find Christ and live for Him in a world that’s chaotic and anti-Christian.

Preparing Your Teen to Thrive in College (Alex Chediak)
Chediak offers insights for parents about preparing their teen for college—spiritually, academically, and socially. The transition isn’t always easy, but it is possible to help your college student thrive away from home.

Protecting Girls From Growing Up Too Fast (Dannah Gresh)
Gresh explains how our culture teaches young girls to act “sexy” and older than they are. Learn how you can protect your daughter from growing up too quickly.

Protecting Your Family From the Digital Invasion (Dr. Arch Hart, Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd)
The Harts delve into the science behind the wiring of our brains. They coach parents on subjects of online relationships, cyberbullying, and videogame addictions—and they share how to rediscover the calm of spiritual discipline.

Questioning the Value of College (Dr. Bill Bennett)
Bennett challenges the assumption that most high school graduates need a college education to succeed. He cautions parents to consider all options before plunging into debt or wasted years in a university experience.

Raising Kids With Christ-Like Conviction  (Drs. Paul and Virginia Friesen)
Sharing from their own experiences, the Friesens offer advice about raising kids who are committed to Jesus. We can show our children the joy of living for God when we make faith a priority without trying to be perfect or live only by rules.

Raising Tween Boys in Today’s Culture (Dannah Gresh)
Gresh explains how parents can encourage their tween and teen sons to pursue goodness in a culture that often celebrates bad behavior. Simple actions like promoting active play, reading together, prioritizing family nights, and keeping a connected relationship can build a foundation of godly character.

Raising Women of Virtue (Pam Farrel, Doreen Hanna)
Farrel and Hanna each came from childhoods in which they didn’t receive signs of love from their dads. They share advice to help parents love their daughters and instill qualities like virtue, purity, and integrity.

Reaching Your Neighbors for Christ (Lee Strobel)
In a message to teens and parents, Strobel shares stories and offers suggestions to help Christians not be afraid of non-believers’ tough questions. Living out our beliefs genuinely and winsomely can attract others to the Jesus they see in our lives.

Rescuing Your Teen Daughter From Secret Sins (Jesse Minassian)
Minassian advises parents on helping their daughters deal with common “secret sins” that entrap many teenage girls: cutting, drug abuse, eating disorders, sexual addiction, and same-sex relationships. 

Speaking Your Teen’s Love Language (Dr. Gary Chapman)
Chapman talks about parents’ need to love and understand their teens and to adapt their approach by learning to use specific approaches for each teen’s unique personality.

Teaching Good Manners to Your Kids (Donna Jones)
Create an environment of love and respect in your home as you instill good manners and etiquette that can benefit your children throughout their lives.

Timeless Tips for Building a Strong Family (Rob and Dianne Parsons)
Based on Rob’s book The Sixty Minute Family: An Hour to Transform Your Relationships Forever, the Parsons share about the value of making time for loved ones.

Understanding Your Teen’s Behavior (Pastor Jeramy and Mrs. Jerusha Clark)
The Clarks give an overview of a teen’s brain from a neurological perspective, sharing insights on the impact of puberty and hormones. They talk about resolving conflict, handling disrespect, and navigating peer pressure.

Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project® presents TrueU

  • Set 1: Does God Exist? 
    Dr. Stephen Meyer discusses opposing worldviews and provides tools teens need as they prepare to enter college—and a culture that can be hostile to the Christian faith.
  • Set 2: Is the Bible Reliable? (Digital Download) by Focus on the Family 
    For centuries, intellectuals and critics have questioned inconsistencies in the Bible. Dr. Meyer examines ancient texts and archeological evidence to build a case for the accuracy and trustworthiness of Scripture.
  • Set 3: Who Is Jesus? Building a Comprehensive Case (not currently available through Focus on the Family)
    Dr. Del Tackett and guest experts explore Jesus’ ancestry and prophetic mission; His words, works, and character; His death and resurrection; and whether Jesus is the only way to God.

This area of our website offers various articles and resources on topics such as emotions, parenting challenges, sexuality, and schooling.

A Parent’s Guide to Today’s Technology
Understand and navigate the pitfalls of today’s most popular digital platforms and games. Technology will capture our children’s attention. We need to educate and support kids in developing healthy tech habits.

Plugged In
This outreach of Focus on the Family offers analysis of today’s movies, music, and other forms of entertainment.


Resource Lists

Focus on the Family Counseling Consultation Line
If you need someone to talk to, Focus on the Family offers a free phone counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. Call 1-855-771-HELP (4357), Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM (MT). 

Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselor Network
Search for licensed Christian counselors in your area.

Embrace Grace
This non-profit seeks to “empower churches across the nation to be a safe and non-judging place for the girls to run to when they find out they are pregnant, instead of the last place they are welcomed because of shame and guilt.”

The Hope Line (Dawson McAllister)
This comprehensive youth resource ministry hosts a national radio show and offers help to hurting teens.

Josh McDowell Ministry
This organization equips believers to better understand their faith and share it with others.

Net Nanny
Net Nanny is Focus on the Family’s preferred web filtering software.

The Todd Becker Foundation
This group travels throughout the midwest presenting to public high schools. The assembly unfolds the life-changing choices that ultimately led to the death of Todd Becker in an alcohol-related car accident.

Youth Specialties
Youth Specialties offers events and materials for youth workers and teens.