We are HUGE fans of pumping our kids full of good books, especially in the teen years.
Unfortunately, our culture has sold us a bill of goods that says adolescence is a person’s last ditch effort at enjoying life’s bounty and sewing their wild oats. What a lie!
The truth is you reap what you sew. Wild oats produce untamed fruit.
And this mindset robs our kids of an important truth as well. It says, “Enjoy life now because soon the harsh realities of adulthood are going to come, and then you’ll have no fun.” Think about it — it’s a play-now-work-later mindset.
But that’s not how life works. It’s actually the total opposite. Life is really about work-now-play-later. Play is the fruit of work.
And adulthood doesn’t have to be drudgery. When you know your purpose in life, and you live intentionally, your life can get better and better with each passing year.
The teens years are really the final preparation for independence. Instead of focusing on making sure our kids are having maximum fun, we should focus on making sure they’re ready to go out into the world and be wise, resourceful, compassionate, creative and fulfilled adults.
Here are some great reads to help that process along.
1. The 4-Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss
2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
3. 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, by Suze Orman
4. The 80/20 Principle, by Richard Koch
5. Awaken the Giant Within, by Anthony Robbins
6. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
7. The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel
8. The Christian Atheist, by Craig Groeschel
9. The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson
10. Crazy Love, by Francis Chan
11. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
12. Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown
13. The Definitive Book of Body Language, by Barbara and Allan Pease
14. Developing the Leader Within You, by John Maxwell
15. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, and Roger Fisher
16. Do Hard Things, by Alex and Brett Harris
17. The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White
18. The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman
19. Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
20. Getting Things Done, by David Allen
21. Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart, by Kyle Idleman
22. Good to Great, by Jim Collins
23. I Am Second, by Dave Sterrett, Doug Bender and Colt McCoy
24. I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Joshua Harris
25. The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham
26. How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, by David Bornstein
27. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
28. Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone, by Mark Goulston
29. The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch
30. Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives, by Christopher Gergen
31. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl
32. Never Give In! The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches, by Winston S. Churchill
33. On Writing, by Stephen King
34. On Writing Well, by William Zinsser
35. Organizing From the Inside Out, by Julie Morgenstern
36. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
37. Passion and Purity, by Elisabeth Elliot
38. The Power of Positive Thinking, by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
39. Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business and Influence Others, by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas
40. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, by David Platt
41. Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki
42. See You at The Top, by Zig Ziglar
43. The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary, by Joseph Michelli
44. Talent is Overrated, by Geoffrey Colvin
45. The Tipping Point, by Malcom Gladwell
46. Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey
47. Tribes, by Seth Godin
48. The Warren Buffet Way, by Robert Hagstrom
49. We Hold These Truths, by Randall Norman DeSoto
50. Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson