8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter: And Other Tips from a Beleaguered Father (Not That Any of Them Work)

( 13 )

Overview

It seems to happen overnight. One minute your daughter is wearing bunny slippers and demanding bedtime stories. The next, she's wearing a midriff-baring tee shirt and demanding the car keys. 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter takes us shriek by shriek through the process of raising teenage girls, including braces (the most expensive metal on earth), the telephone (seemingly wired to her nervous system), and, of course, dating (Rule #2: Keep your hands and eyes off my daughter's body, or I will remove ...
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Overview

It seems to happen overnight. One minute your daughter is wearing bunny slippers and demanding bedtime stories. The next, she's wearing a midriff-baring tee shirt and demanding the car keys. 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter takes us shriek by shriek through the process of raising teenage girls, including braces (the most expensive metal on earth), the telephone (seemingly wired to her nervous system), and, of course, dating (Rule #2: Keep your hands and eyes off my daughter's body, or I will remove them).
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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
W. Bruce Cameron has two teenage daughters, and parents everywhere know that means trouble. From surviving his oldest daughter's first driving lesson to chaperoning (um, spying) at a high school dance, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter is a must-read for anyone who has been on the receiving end of a teenage girl's torturous behavior.

Parents and teenagers alike will chuckle at the familiarity of Cameron's stories, especially his dating rules: "The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: places where there are beds, sofas or anything softer than a wooden stool; places lacking parents, policemen, or nuns;... places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose-down parka zipped up to her chin." It's enough to make parents long for a return to the days of bunny slippers or pigtail-hair, and Cameron knows that all too well.

Some of the funniest sections are Cameron's observations about his daughters' clothing choices: "The heels you wear look like they were designed by the Society for the Promotion of Ankle Sprain. Watching you wobble atop your rickety platforms, I understand why you want me to buy you a car -- you're certainly not going to be able to walk anywhere." And every parent can identify with Cameron's trauma, as his oldest and most nightmarish daughter resists learning how to change a flat tire (according to the author, it somehow involves magic eggs from the country, axe murderers, and dead cell phones). 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter shows how you can laugh out loud along with the author through your daughters' teen years. (Soozan Baxter)

Denver Rocky Mountain News
"W. Bruce Cameron is the Dave Barry of modern family life."
—John Temple, Rocky Mountain News
People Magazine
"The talk of parents nationwide."
People
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641886393
  • Publisher: Holtzbrinck Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/4/2002
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 2 cass., 2 hrs. 30 min.
  • Product dimensions: 4.60 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

W. Bruce Cameron makes his home in Santa Monica, CA.

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Read an Excerpt

A Father's Guide to the Impossible

Studies show that the world population of teenagers is on the rise, and I'm convinced that every single one of them comes over to my house after school to eat my food. (My wife ignores my instructions and actually spends money trying to satisfy these adolescent appetites, which is a bit like trying to warm a winter day by turning up the heat and opening your windows.)

Anyway, the world is positively teeming with teenagers, and as long as people continue to think about starting a family, the trend is likely to continue. This is not my fault. I am only willing to accept the blame for the ones that my wife caused and have taken educational measures with her to make sure it doesn't happen again. But if I am, indeed, surviving the experience, perhaps I can share with you some of the knowledge I have so painfully gained over what has been more than half a decade of tears, hormones, and stress fractures. If you've had a baby, or are engaged in breeding, I will tell you what you have to look forward to. If it's been about a dozen birthdays since you brought home that darling little bundle of girl baby, I am willing to explain the skills and tactics you will need to make it through the next eight years with a minimum of trauma.

Having a child mutate into a teenager is a bit like being an airline passenger ho must suddenly takeover for a stricken pilot and land the plane. And in this case, the passengers are all yelling, "I hate you! I hate you!" and slamming the door to the cockpit.

With a book like this- an "owner's manual," if you will-you may learn enough to make it to the airport safely. Otherwise, you might as well go back and finishwatching the movie with everybody else.

The Gathering Storm

First things first: Let's diagnose the situation. Just because your blood pressure is so high you swear other people can hear it doesn't mean you're suffering from teenager-your daughter might be a "preteen," which is sort of like having a tornado before a hurricane hits. Here's a checklist that you can use to confirm your worst fears.

Warning Signs That You May Be Living with a Teenager

- Your phone is always busy, so you put in a second line and it's always busy.

- Your gas tank is always empty and your laundry basket is always full.

- While you've generally been in favor of them up until now, suddenly

- "Miracle Bras" seem like a really bad idea.

- You realize it's been more than a year since you haven't had to pay a late fee when you rent a video.

- Your car insurance suddenly costs more than your car.

If you are experiencing some of the above warning signs, do not panic. Follow the advice contained in this book and remain focused on your goal, which is to get the teenagers moved out of the house before they breed and the whole cycle begins again. (Some sociologists decry the loss of the "generational home," where grandparents, parents, children, and grandchildren all live under the same roof. I've never heard such nonsense in my life.)

Remember, you can get through this. Your parents did, which is why they always start laughing when you call to explain to them how impossible it is to live with teenage daughters. (If, as they are choking through their hilarity at your expense, they claim that your child's behavior sounds "just like you at that age," hang up immediately. Not only is this completely ridiculous, but if you allow your parents to express this thesis, they will become obsessed with the idea, and that's all you'll hear for the next decade.)

I Need You, Leave Me Alone

When children are young, dads regard themselves as giant shock absorbers, there to protect the family from the ruts and bumps on the road of life. But gradually, the role of the father evolves. You begin to see yourself as more like a coach, running your children through practice drills so they'll be better prepared when they have to go out and play the real game. Life's a contact sport, dads will argue, so a few non-fatal bruises along the way merely toughens the body and steels the soul. If a daughter fails to save enough money to purchase a homecoming dress, why, then, she doesn't get a homecoming dress! (Naturally, no one else in the family agrees with this.)

There are a few exceptions to this now-is-the-time-to-experience-some-of-life's-pitfalls philosophy: some calamities, such as teenage boys, are viewed as still too dangerous for your daughters in all but the most controlled of situations. And these are the very experiences your daughters will most crave, thrusting the father/daughter relationship into a series of battles that can be summed up as the father saying, "I can't help you out of every unfortunate situation you get yourself in to. You need to do things on your own now, except for when I don't want you to."

On the other side of the battle zone, your daughter is saying, "I don't need your advice. I don't want your rules. I am an adult. I am completely independent. I need money for lunch."

Now What?

Having a teenage daughter puts you in what is commonly referred to as a "punting situation." However, there is no receiving team on the field, so you're going to have to carry the ball yourself. It's not going to be easy - in fact, I'm pretty sure it's impossible. But no one else is going to do it: you've got to, you're the father.

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Table of Contents

A Stiff Dose of Reality 1
The Gulf of Communications 13
The Relationship (or Lack Thereof) Between Allowance and Chores 31
The Telephone 49
Field Observations 65
Crime and Punishment 85
Unauthorized Physical Changes 111
Feeding Your Teenage Daughter 130
The High-Tech Teenager 152
Prohibited Teenage Fashions 172
It's Her Party and I'll Cry If I Want To 195
Learning to Drive 210
There Are Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter 229
The First Job 250
The Boyfriend 267
The High Cost of Higher Education 289
Acknowledgments 316
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