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Charisse Tierney, a mom of 3 teens with more coming up, reviews Kim Cameron-Smith's new guide for Catholic parents.

Raising teens can leave parents feeling lost.   

How do I guide someone who seems so mature and capable one minute, yet unsure and dependent the next? In her book, Rooting Your Teen in the Faith: A Field Guide for Catholic Parents, Kim Cameron-Smith provides enlightenment, reassurance, and a wealth of practical ideas for navigating the spiritual waters with our teens. 




How do I know what my teen is thinking about his faith? Using the science behind human spiritual development, Kim’s book will help parents to recognize where their teen is in their faith journey so that they can guide their teen in an appropriate and effective way.  

What types of relationships will best help to shape my teen’s faith life?

Our teens are meant to give their hearts to their parents, siblings, grandparents-the people who will treasure their hearts and protect them until they grow up.

Our teens may not run to us to be picked up and held anymore, but Kim reveals that they still want to be close to us by sharing a meal together, reading together, or to discuss anything that might be on their minds.  

While it is normal for teens to want to spend a lot of time with their friends, they need the influence of strong adult role models. Kim provides ideas for fostering spiritually beneficial adult/teen relationships at the parish level, as well as in our homes and family life.  

What do I do when my teen starts to ask questions or express doubts about the faith? Kim reassures parents that it is normal, and healthy, for teens to start questioning their faith and offers suggestions on how to transform their questions into confidence in their beliefs and their ability to defend them.  

Kim’s experience of stepping away from, and then back to, the Church as a young person gives her unique insights into what helps our faith to “stick” with teens. And the fruits of the parenting ideas she offers throughout the book are evident as she describes her own adult children—one of whom is studying to become a priest.  

How do I help my teen discern God’s will for his life and own his faith? Rooting Your Teen in the Faith provides book lists, resources, and the Catholic principles that will resonate most with teens, such as Catholic social teachings and works of mercy-concepts that will help us, as parents, to guide our teens into spiritual adulthood through the practice of discernment and shaping a solid faith foundation for themselves.  

Kim answered my questions as my husband and I raise three teens of our own (with more coming up!). This intelligent, well-researched book reassures me of what “normal” teen spirituality looks like and provides the answers I need on how to direct it with compassionate honesty.  

Ask for Rooting Your Teen in the Faith at your local Catholic bookseller, or order online from Amazon.com or the publisher, Our Sunday Visitor.




Copyright 2023 Charisse Tierney
Images: Canva