Positively Teenage (signed copy available)


I know, from my work in schools, that there’s a hunger and a need for a positive view of adolescence. Parents of 10-12s in particular ask for something uplifting, unthreatening, empowering. I want to show young people and their parents that adolescence can be exciting, heartening, positive.

Positively Teenage is published by Hachette Children’s Group.

The book covers many aspects of life: changes that happen in adolescence; looking after your physical health; making your brain work well and boosting mental health. There are tips and activities and everything is based around the principles of FLOURISH: Food, Liquid, Oxygen, Use, Relaxation, Interest, Sleep and Happiness. And it’s beautifully designed by the clever people at Hachette, making it a joy to read or dip into!

Wonderful review on The Awfully Big Blog Adventure here.

RESOURCES: You will find lots of resources about Positively Teenage here, including posters, handouts, teaching notes and a link to the “How Positively Teenage Are You?” quiz.

A few more details below.

“Signing instructions” *


Something has been happening since The Teenage Guide to Stress was published in 2014. Quite rightly, there has been a strong public focus on the devastating problem of teenage mental illness. While I’m very glad about this, there’s an unintended consequence: an impression that adolescence is a mental illness, that “teenage” is synonymous with “problem”, that bad things will happen in the teenage years, that it’s a time to be endured and survived, rather than lived well. We focus on the problems and forget the positives, the power.

Something else: normal negative human emotions are too often viewed as a problem, as if anger, anxiety, fear and sadness were demons; as though feeling those things means there’s something wrong with your mental state. But “negative” emotions are entirely proper. It’s healthy to feel angry when someone treats us badly; anxious or afraid when faced with frightening things; miserable after sad events. Not to have those feelings would be unhealthy.

Positively Teenage remembers the following:

  • That adolescence is a natural, positive, essential and temporary stage of development
  • That parents and young people should welcome and be excited by the idea of a young person moving strongly and healthily towards adulthood and independence
  • That there might be “downs” along the journey – in fact, there probably will be, because that’s life, whatever our age
  • But that a positive, healthy and knowledgeable approach helps us live through the downs and enjoy the ups
  • That although “bad things happen”, good things happen, too, and many teenagers go through these few years perfectly well, becoming strong, resilient and ambitious young adults.