What Your Teen is Trying to Tell You

Stella O'Malley

Leading psychotherapist Stella O’Malley has walked many miles on ‘Planet Teen’. She understands difficult teenagers – she was one herself, and as a psychotherapist she has spent many hours working alongside unhappy adolescents.

Stella takes parents inside the teenage brain and provides practical advice for each of the key milestones teenagers need to tackle during adolescence to become happy, healthy adults.

You will learn how to navigate many issues, including anxiety, obsession with technology, body confidence and the sexual self. Rather than always looking to ‘fix’ the situation, you will instead be empowered to know when and how to intervene and when to allow your teen to work it out for themselves.

Ultimately, you will understand your teen better and learn to rekindle joy in your relationship.


ISBN: 9781800752542

Published: March 30, 2023


ISBN: 9781800752559

Published: March 30, 2023


Reviews for What Your Teen is Trying to Tell You

‘Stella O’Malley is the voice of compassion and reason needed by anyone helping a child to navigate the rocky teenage years. This invaluable book is packed with wise advice and evidence-based hints and tips, organised by theme for ease of reference. A book you’ll turn to again and again‘ – Helen Joyce

‘Parenting teenagers has never been harder: Stella O’Malley offers parents a humane, loving template for navigating the storm. Encouraging parents to be confident with their boundaries, but also generous with their patience and affection, this book shows that you can be good enough — and its practical good sense will help you to achieve just that’ – Sarah Ditum

‘A warm, wise, and compassionate voice that will reassure any parent struggling with the teen in their life’ – Kathleen Stock, author of Material Girls

An essential parenting manual for complex times. Utterly brilliant – Stella’s voice is reassuring and she covers absolutely everything. Every parent of teens needs this book. A much-needed book for a generation of children under pressure, and the parents who love them’ – Milli Hill, Author of The Positive Birth Book

‘Written with compassion and clarity, this is a reassuringly practical guide to the art of parenting teens through the tricky times’ – Rachel Rooney, children’s author and poet

‘This is the most readable and practical guide to parenting a teenager imaginable … It’s directly relevant to contemporary teen culture, with its hazards of accessible hard porn and bullying by social media, as well as the apparent paradox of a more liberal cultural approach to sexuality combined with teens still experiencing deep shame and being fearful of growing up … this is also a book to read if you are still in need of learning forgiveness toward and understanding of your own inner teen. Stella O’Malley writes beautifully in a frank and straightforward fashion. I would recommend it to every parent, as well as to teenagers themselves‘ – Victoria Whitworth, author of Swimming with Seals

‘A much needed guide for parents to navigate through the perils and the unknowns of adolescence … The author brilliantly exposes the diverse problematics that teens can encounter and she offers parents with guidance and support, in a very pragmatic way. I found particularly insightful the chapter on gender identity and gender dysphoria, that sheds a light into what might be a traumatic phase for many adolescents who struggle to accept themselves … What Your Teen is Trying to Tell You sheds a light into one of the most difficult phases of human development, if not the most difficult. Any parent should read this book and keep it close, in case they’ll need to read it twice’ – Paola Diana, Author, Entrepreneur & Podcast Host

What Your Teen is Trying to Tell You reminds parents that they themselves can have much more impact than they realize. This advice is much needed in a world where it’s arguably harder than ever to be a teen, with online pressures, unprecedented levels of isolation and loneliness, and the resulting sense of parental futility. Using well-known principles of psychological understanding and age-old wisdom, O’Malley invites parents to lean into the opportunity to be a more confident and competent parent and help their children to truly thrive‘ – Sasha Ayad, licensed counsellor

‘I liked the bits I read because you can tell Stella O’Malley really LIKES young people, which you don’t see very often. I especially liked the section on perfectionism and fear of failure, and it helped me understand why I worry about letting people down. I feel we are all being pressured into growing up too quickly, and I think this book gives me support in helping to pushback against peer pressure and to say when something is making me unhappy, and to say WHY, when before I didn’t really understand why’ – Teen (15)


Stella O’Malley

Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist, writer, public speaker and parent, with many years’ experience working as a mental health professional. Her three books, Cotton Wool Kids, Bully-Proof Kids and Fragile have all been bestsellers in Ireland. Born in Dublin, she now lives in County Offaly with her husband and two children and runs her private practice.