Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dear Mom: Everything Your Teenage Daughter Wants You to Know But Will Never Tell You

Dear Mom by Melody Carlson is my first review book for the WaterBrook Press/Multnomah Mother's Day Blog Tour! To celebrate Mother's Day (and Blog Tours!), you'll find an opportunity to win your own copy of the book at the end of this post. Check out my personal blog for a chance to win Enduring Justice, a novel by Amy Wallace.

Summary:

"Every mom knows how communicating with a teenage girl can be difficult, even impossible at times. One-word answers. Defensive conversations. Daily arguments. How typical for teens to put up such barriers. All the while, moms truly long to know what their daughters really think.

Best-selling author Melody Carlson, whose books for women, teens, and children have sold more than three million copies, bridges this chasm with trusted insight. She speaks frankly in the voice of the teen daughters she’s written for and she tells it like it is: struggles with identity, guys, friendship, and even parents—it’s all here. The straight-talk to moms covers such things as “I need you, but you can’t make me admit it,” “I’m not as confident as I appear,” and “I have friends. I need a mother.”

Instead of focusing on outward behaviors, Dear Mom looks at a young woman’s heart and reveals to moms:

· how to talk to teens so they hear,

· how to connect despite the differences of perspective or years and experiences,
· and how strengthen the bond every mom and daughter ultimately wants.

The lively chapters in Dear Mom can be dipped into topically or used as a read-through tool by moms and daughters alike to understand what motivates or deflates, troubles or inspires—and just in time for Mother’s Day and all the Mother’s Days ahead."


Author Bio:

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than one hundred books for adults, children, and teens, with sales totaling more than three million copies. Beloved for her Diary of a Teenage Girl and Notes from a Spinning Planet series, she’s also the author of the women’s novels Finding Alice (in production now for a Lifetime-TV movie), Crystal Lies, On This Day, These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking, and A Mile in My Flip-Flops. A mother of two grown sons, Melody lives in central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. She’s a full-time writer and an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker.

My Thoughts:

As the mother of a sixteen year old daughter, I was very interested in reading this book and was open to learning and gleaning what wisdom could be found. However, the tone of the book distracted me from absorbing the bits of truth throughout. This is written as if a teenage daughter was writing directly to her mother. The daughter writes in a very disrespectful, caustic tone. Lest I be accused of over-reacting, I asked my sixteen year old to skim through the book. She stated that many teenage girls DO speak to their mothers that way but also agreed that if you want someone to actually listen to what you have to say, that is not the way to say it. It sparked a good discussion between us on how we all tend to immediately become defensive or rebellious when approached this way, no matter our age.

I believe that I have a good relationship with my daughter (we compare ourselves to The Gilmore Girls, only...er...I am a one man woman, lol). We have room for improvement and still butt heads and drive each other crazy sometimes, so I tried to put my reaction to the tone of the book aside and just dig deep for whatever truths I could find. They were there to be found. If you can get past the caustic, grating tone there are many things we can take away as moms. Some are somewhat no-brainers to me (If you as a mom think there are no mean girls in High Schools, you need...I'll be nice, you need this book). Some were good reminders (listen before jumping to conclusions). Some were heart-prickers (choosing to give the best of yourself to people who don't even live under your own roof).

There may be some moms who need it written in this in your face style. Somehow I'm thinking the "you get more bees with honey" adage has more merit. This may be a helpful book for those who are able to take the meat and spit out the bones, or for those who may have a teenage daughter who speaks to them in this manner and are looking for help in discerning what they may be saying under the surface. Unfortunately the attitude is just a little too much for me.

If you'd like the opportunity to check this book out for yourself, please leave a comment below. Post this giveaway on your own blog and earn another entry (just add a second post with your blog link). I'll draw a name from all eligible entries on Mother's Day, May 10th! (US only please, sorry!).

4 comments:

GE is me said...

While I have a few years(okay, like 9)before I hit the teens, some of my friends are there now. But I'm sure I could learn something from this book as I tend to be a lot sarcastic.
Hope you have a happy mother's day, Lori.

-Gail

Natalia said...

Great book! Count me in.
[email protected]

Shanna said...

I think this would be a wonderful book to share with some moms I know who still have teens at home. Thanks for offering this!

Anonymous said...

I have 3 daughters, the oldest is 13. I could use some words of wisdom.

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