Parenting Books: 13 Is the New 18: And Other Things My Children Taught Me–While I Was Having a Nervous Breakdown Being Their Mother
by Sylvia Cochran
Book Review 13 Is the New 18
And Other Things My Children Taught Me–While I Was Having a Nervous Breakdown Being Their Mother
Beth J. Harpaz
Crown Publishing Group
13 Is the New 18 flowed from the pen of Beth J. Harpaz, a published author whose humorous views on Hillary Clinton’s Senate run has become the stuff of legends. Taking on parenting in a more autobiographical tone introduces readers to a side of Ms. Harpaz they have never seen before. Best of all, it brings home the point that they are not alone in their hand ringing and frustration.
13 Is the New 18 has a paradigm shift in (roughly) the middle of the book when the author states “I told them this wasn’t how I had raised my son, but I’m not sure they believed me. At home, I yelled and screamed and even wept. I pleaded, cajoled, threatened, bribed, rewarded. But none of it did any good.” It is evident that all of us struggling to come to terms with adolescence are floating in the same boat over rather rough rapids.
13 Is the New 18 is not a book that will tell you how to turn that adolescent in the other room into a choir boy. There is no quick fix, secret formula, or changing your kid in three easy steps you will find in these pages. Instead, the reader will find company, the fact that adolescence is a rite of passage for the kids as well as their parents, and the fact that there is good to be found – even in the antics of a seemingly out of control teen.
The book makes it clear that parenting teens is a roller coaster ride, but it must be underscored that a lot of misplaced guilt thus far has prevented parents from actually enjoying their kids burgeoning independence and instead is reducing these same parents to handwringing adults who fear that they are the worst parents who ever walked the earth.
As an avid reader of parenting books myself, I know that each and every book more or less proclaims that following their precepts will change a kid and his or her behavior for the better. If they were correct, no more parenting books would be needed. It is kind of like this with the diet books. If any one of them really worked, there would be no need for more and more diets and books accompanying them.
13 Is the New 18 is a book that reassures you – the parent at the end of his or her wits – that this, too, shall pass and after that tenuous year of adolescent rebellion there is indeed hope with the simple self correction known as advancing age and maturity. Yes, you still need to stick with it, and do your best as a parent, but time itself is on your side.
13 Is the New 18
is a wonderful book to pick up when you don’t think you can stomach another book telling you how to parent your kid in three easy steps when you know (for sure) that there is no such thing as three easy steps to parenting.
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