Whatever, Mom: Hip Mama's Guide to Raising a Teenager by Ariel Gore, Maia Swift
This long-overdue, witty, and revealing book on living life with teenagers begins with the premise that adolescence, as we know it, is nothing but a social construction. “Even your most aristocratic ancestors,” Gore writes, “never knew these long seasons of middle school and orthodontia, Ritalin and yo-yo diets, standardized tests and summer vacations, call-waiting and CD Walkmans, football practice and study abroad programs, learner’s permits and college choices.” Much of what parents fear about their kids reaching their teens, she notes, stems from popular culture, media scare tactics, and parents’ own dubious, sometimes painful experiences. Instead of fear and ultimatums, Gore offers a map for navigating the inevitable changes that come with kids growing olderwanting more freedom, peer-influenced decision-making, burgeoning sexual selvesand confronting the life changes moms and dads, who were “cool” themselves only yesterday, face as their parenting responsibilities and identities shift. Whatever, Mom is the only teen guidebook to include the opinions of teens themselves, including chapter-by-chapter rebuttals by Gore’s daughter, Maia.