The Teen Interpreter

A Guide to the Challenges and Joys of Raising Adolescents

19 May 2023

Terri Apter (Author)


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 revitalise 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 synthesise 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 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

"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

"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

"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 sho" — Carol Tavris, co-author of Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)

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142 x 211 mm • 304 pages


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