Ignore all the suggestions about reading this when your child is a toddler, or a pre-teen! Read it before you even plan on having a baby – perhaps before you even consider getting married!
For those of you who have already dipped your toes into the choppy waters of teenage-hood, I hand you a virtual gin and tonic (pink gin?? yes, why not, you’ve earned it!) as you settle down to read this. If you’re expecting a ‘how-to’ manual … hang on while I just have a not-so-quiet chuckle here … did you actually think that such a thing existed?? Seriously darling, if it did then men would be having kids by now!! It’s definitely NOT a ‘how-to’ book AT all, but you can expect plenty of real laugh-out-loud moments and also more than a few genuinely ugly-cry ones too! But throughout, you will be able to relate to just about everything that is in these pages. And if you dare to think to yourself “Ha, my kid didn’t do that, thank goodness!” Well just you wait … your kid has something much more horrendous stored up their sleeve. They’re just waiting for the right time – when you’re least expecting! The most important thing to know when you have teens: never, ever relax!!
If anything, this book is a reminder that we parents are not alone. We’re in this together, no matter how isolated and lost we might feel, and how often we might be feeling it. And truly, this is how our teens are often feeling. Eventually though, after their years of awful-ness, those years when we barely recognise them as the adorable babies we gave birth to, those cute kiddies who said the funniest things, they do return to us, surprisingly wholly and quite well formed.
The truth is, we bring up our children so that they become independent, self-sufficient, contributing members of society. But for some reason, when they attempt to do this, when they assert the freedom that we’ve worked so hard to instil in them, it’s us who often fight the hardest to hold them back! Calman brings us a reminder that they do actually find their own way, in their own way. We’re generally good enough parents and as a result, these teens of ours turn out pretty ok in the end and we get to be proud of the finished product – well, is it ever really finished?! You know what I mean – ok, so not the finished product then … the work in progress!
A fabulous book which really should be essential reading for parents and teens alike! 5 stars, and thanks to Compulsive Readers for inviting me on the blog tour.
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