Mike Riera

Parenting a teenager means thinking more in terms of influence than control—easy to say, tough to do.



Welcome to the website.

Here you will learn about some of my thinking about parenting, children, and education.  There are also some video clips, book descriptions, and a schedule of appearances.  Make yourself at home.

And, well I've gone and done it, started a blog to better respond to questions and to post some thoughts and comments in real time.  Take a look:

Dr. Mike's Blog: Q and A

Currently I am the Head of School at the Redwood Day School in Oakland, CA.  As a result I have cut back on my speaking engagements and no longer make the cross country commute for the CBS Saturday Early Show.  At RDS we are preparing to open our high school in 2009, a school based on the latest research and best practices as they pertain to education and teenagers.  For a quick overview take a listen to this eight minute eonversation between talk radio Hall of Fame host, Ronn Owens, and myself. 

If you would like to sign-up for a monthly newsletter that I write, Learning About Children, please follow the link.

Finally, click here if you would like to see a couple of brief interviews with Mike on YouTube taken at a recent event at Barrington High School in Illinois. 

General Philosophy

General Philosophy About Teenagers

I think teenagers are frequently misunderstood by even the most caring adults. This isn't due to lack of effort. It has more to do with inaccurate stereotypes and portrayals of teenagers. Most of psychology focuses on pathology and abnormality. But these don't help parents all that much. Teenagers are complex, but they are not impossible to understand. I think parents have not been supported nearly enough in their efforts to understand and raise their teenagers. So my purpose is not to tell anybody how to parent their kids. My purpose is to help translate what teenagers mean (but can't say) by their behaviors and attitudes. As adults, the more we understand the meanings behind their behaviors, the more flexible we can be in our responses. This in turn means better relationships with our teenagers and healthier teenagers overall. Finally, parenting a teenager means thinking and acting more in terms of influence than control — easy to say, tough to do. So please make yourself at home on the Website.

Dr. Mike

Mike while giving a speach to parents Redwood Day School

Prior to his role as Head of School Mike was a frequent speaker at schools around the country as well as a regular contributor for the CBS Saturday Early Show.  Redwood Day School is a K-8 with plans to build a high school in the near future. The school focuses on the healthy development of students through its focus intelletual, social, and emotional development.  In addition the school strives to help each student understand his or her learning style, with particular attention to natural strengths and strategies for dealing with various challenges.


  • Book Update

    Staying Connected

    Mike's most recent book, Staying Connected To Your Teenager: How To Keep Them Talking To You And How To Hear What They're Really Saying, was released in 2003 and has garnered strong reviews.

  • Radio Update

    For two years Mike had a radio show, Family Talk With Dr. Mike, on Sirius Satellite Radio, but the project has gone on hold since he began his work with Redwood Day School.

©2007 All property copyrighted by Mike Riera. Web Site Design: Claudia Uscategui.