Comforting a colicky baby sounds like a cakewalk in comparison to the tales in these essays. As Anna Quindlen puts it: "Those of you waiting for your babies to sleep through the night will be amazed at how quickly they come to sleep through the afternoon after a night out." Typical parental woes regarding teenage rebellion?mood swings, drugs, drinking, sex, and Marilyn Manson concerts--are all included.
Editors Conlon and Hudson chose to include several humorous pieces, most notably the one from Dave Barry, who chronicles his son's madcap solo trip to Europe. Despite Barry's hounding and reminders, the teen promptly lost his passport?during the flight to Frankfurt. But the humor serves to temper the most pervasive emotion in the collection?reluctance?as moms and dads bittersweetly watch, mostly helplessly, as their kids struggle to grow up and find their identities and independence. Any parent who's tired of being called "inadequate, clueless, or simply annoying" [p. 171] will find comfort hearing about the travails of these moms and dads.
Former Newsweek reporter Daniel Glick gives a heartfelt account of his "drug talk" with his son, a long-dreaded event since, as he puts it, "I definitely inhaled." His son's reaction? "I'm just glad you didn't lie to me 'cuz I wouldn't have believed that an old hippie like you never smoked dope." The standout essay is by Debra Gwartney, a mother of four from Eugene, Oregon, whose two oldest daughters repeatedly ran away: "they had to go and keep going until they decided to return." [p.189] A more fitting title for the anthology might be Janis Joplin's "Another Piece of My Heart." It's true these parents feel like they're going insane, as Joey Ramone sang, but as the teens here get tattooed, sneak lovers into the basement for overnight trysts, and blow off their college applications until the last possible second, their parents' souls are what suffer, even more so than their sanity. --Erica JorgensenTeenagers: they roam in packs, mope silently in their rooms, sneak out, talk back, sneer, yell, roll their eyes, and think their parents just might be the dumbest creatures on Earth. Raising a teen is perhaps the most challenging phase of childrearing, a time when kids push every known hot button and wreak havoc with carefully thought-out parenting strategies. I Wanna Be Sedated brings a sense of humor and perspective to some of the deepest worries of parents. Joyce Maynard explores the house rules for boy-girl sleepovers in "The Girlfriend Sleeps Over," Dan Glick writes about drug dilemmas in "I Definitely Inhaled." Debra Gwartney speaks candidly about every parent's worst nightmare in "Runaway Daughter." And, Anna Quindlen reflects upon her rapidly emptying nest in "Flown Away, Left Behind." Featuring dynamic, top-caliber writing, this delightful collection speaks to the challenging, exhilarating, and occasionally mind-blowing task of parenting teenagers.
|Book:||I Wanna Be Sedated: 30 Writers On Parenting Teenagers|
|Author:||Faith Conlon Gail Hudson|
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