Originally published: 16 May 2019
Author: Stephanie Calman
Published by: Picador Books
Length: 397 pages
Reading dates: 14-18 May 2019
We imagine the teenage years as a sort of domestic meteor strike, when our dear, sweet child is suddenly replaced by a sarcastic know it all who cruelly disregards the important wisdom we have to pass on.
But good news! The modern teenager is a more compassionate soul, the product of political correctness.
This book is a parenting guide which features author Stephanie Calman’s own children, Lawrence and Lydia, starting from the age of around 7 & 8 when kids start to show some typical teenage tendencies and takes us all the way through to the age of 18, when they fly the nest and disappear to University, and parents reach a new stage in their lives.
Calman has such a great way of writing – the book is full of anecdotes and events in their family’s life and how her and her husband Peter deal with them. All the things we as parents worry about such as their first trip solo on public transport, parties, curfews, friends, girlfriends and boyfriends, alcohol and leaving home to step into the big wide world!
This book made me laugh out loud on several occasions. I guess it is parenting manual of sorts, but presented in a light hearted, yet relatable way. I have a teenage son of 17 who is often sullen but doesn’t give us much trouble and a 12 year old son who is lovely at the moment but I’m still waiting to see what happens! Offering advice on navigating the shift from teenage years to adulthood; dealing with the death of a parent, as a parent and encouraging independence, I think the message to take away is that all kids are different and we are all doing the best we can.
One piece of advice I did take away was trying to encourage some independence, especially around the house. Considering the older one could be going to Uni next year, I should probably teach him a couple of basic meals and show him how to use a washing machine!
A really entertaining read, suitable for parents of kids of any ages, I looked forward to picking this up because it made me smile! Ironically, even though it is called Confessions of a Bad Mother, Stephanie is anything but!
Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me on the blog tour and to Picador Books for sending me a proof copy! Be sure to checkout the other stops below:
About the author:
Stephanie Calman is the author of several books including, Confessions of a Bad Mother, Confessions of a Failed Grown-Up, How (Not) to Murder Your Mother, How (Not) to Murder Your Husband, Dressing for Breakfast and Gentleman Prefer My Sister.
In addition to being an author she created the Channel 4 sitcom Dressing for Breakfast and has appeared on TV shows such as Have I Got News for You and The Wright Stuff.
The daughter of the cartoonist Mel Calman, she is married She is married to the author Peter Grimsdale and has two children.