We imagine the teenage years as a sort of domestic meteor strike, when our dear, sweet child, hitherto so trusting and innocent, is suddenly replaced by a sarcastic know-all who cruelly disregards the important wisdom we have to pass on. But with her characteristic unflinching honesty and bracing wit, Stephanie Calman debunks that myth.
Confessions of a Bad Mother: The Teenage Years
By Stephanie Calman
Published in hardback by Picador on 16 May 2019 at £12.99
When you’re pregnant you think: ‘I’m having a baby’, but you’re not. Inside that chubby exterior is a person who will eventually catch trains by themselves, share a fridge with ten strangers, go to a festival in Croatia without succumbing to a drug overdose, and one day, bring you a gin and tonic when your own mother is dying.
Bad news: adolescence begins much earlier than you expect, around the age of seven.
Good news! The modern teenager is a compassionate soul, the product of political correctness, Circle Time and all five series of ‘Friends’.
Not quite so good news: the key insights you’ve gathered over four or five decades are still going to be brutally rejected, with a casual: ‘Like, whatever. Can I go now?’
Stephanie takes a fresh look at this whole process and finds that her teenagers are frequently thinking and feeling the same thing as she is: that the other person has all the power and basically hates them.
And having nurtured them through every stage of development, from walking to school by themselves to their first hangover, she finds herself dreading the separation – feeling bereaved even – as they skip off to university without a second glance. As the grown-up, you cannot let them see you in this pathetic state. It’s time to be brave and try to move on with your life.
Navigating the shift from teenage years to adulthood
Dealing with the death of a parent, as a parent
Preparing yourself for your children to flee the nest by dwelling on the bad times
Are teenagers really so difficult, or have they had a bad press?
How working from home as two freelancers helps promote benign neglect
About Stephanie Calman
Stephanie Calman is the founder of the ground-breaking Bad Mothers Club website and the author of six previous books including the bestselling Confessions of a Bad Mother. She created the hit Channel 4 sitcom Dressing For Breakfast and has appeared on many TV shows including Have I Got News For You and The Wright Stuff.
She has also written for most British newspapers and magazines including the Daily Telegraph, Observer, Guardian, Cosmopolitan, GQ and Harpers & Queen, and has contributed to a wide variety of radio programmes, including Woman's Hour and The Today Programme. She is still married to the author Peter Grimsdale, whose latest book High Performance is also out on May 16.
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