Book Review: Dear Mom *Win a FREE Copy*

Dear Mom

by Melody Carlson

Subtitled:  Everything Your Teenage Daughter Wants You to Know but Will NEVER Tell You.

Well, when Waterbrook sent this book, I have to admit, I was curious.  I mean, after all, I have seven daughters, five (or soon to be) of whom are either teens or once were  (Challice has entered the roaring 20’s already).  So, I sat down, and started reading.

First, the book is written as though a very long letter from daughter to mother.  This alone is quite accurate.  Daughters can definitely talk a lot and have a lot to say.  I found it kind of comical how accurate the “book” aspect of the “discussion” was.  As with many books written in the first person, the style gets a bit wearisome.  I found myself needing to read it in chunks rather than in one sitting to avoid brain burn.

However, the content was fairly “dead on” in my experience with girls.  As with a lot of girls, it was a bit overly dramatic at times (My daughters would be a little insulted by the constant insistence that the girl doesn’t know her own mind and is a bundle of contradictions) but for the most part, I could see every frustrated teen age girl I’ve ever known (including myself) in the pages.  I saw their insecurities, their attempts at maturity, and the surprising maturity hidden where the girl probably never looked for it.

As for a target audience, this book isn’t for every mom.  If you understand your daughter, if you have reasonably good communication, then you probably don’t need the book.  Yes, you’ll get something out of it but seriously, spend the time you would spend reading the book just interacting with your daughter.  However, if sometimes you just don’t understand why your girl seems to withdraw from you, why she seems to be a jumble of nerves and hormones, you might benefit from reading this book.  It’s small enough to tuck into your purse and read while waiting for her at the mall, soccer practice, or the movies.  It’s short enough to finish off in a week or two if you just read a few pages at a time.  And, for the most part I think, it’s a book that if your daughter picks up and reads, she’s not going to be offended at the condescending tone of an “expert” telling you where she’s a mess.  I think my girls would get a bit bent out of shape over a few of the stereotypes but then they’ve been raised differently than a lot of kids so they’ve missed some of that.

This book would be beneficial to you if…

  • You have a teen aged daughter and you are struggling with your relationship
  • You have or know a girl in some kind of traditional school and want to understand how to relate to them

The target audience of this book is probably not conservative Christian homeschooling families but I can see how the book would be beneficial to anyone who is in contact with teen aged girls on any kind of a regular basis.  The title is “Dear Mom” but honestly, I think it’d help a Dad understand common feminine teen problems or even help a writer “capture” the essence of modern teen thought.

If you’re really brave, I dare you to buy this book (or win it on my site here!) and hand it to your daughter.  Ask her to critique it, underline or highlight sections that really speak to her, and then see where it goes.  I guarantee you, it won’t be a waste of your time.

Now for the fun stuff!  Waterbrook has generously given me a copy of this book to give away.  In addition, I want this book to get out there to as many people as may want/need it so I’m going to give away my copy too!  Please leave a comment and I’ll do a random number generator on Friday for the winners and get that book shipped out right away.

Memories Are Unwrapped Treasures~

As Mother’s Day nears, I couldn’t help take a moment to “honor” memories.  I don’t care who you are, you have good ones.  Everyone has good ones.  Some have more than others, I grant you, but if you think hard enough, you should easily be able to come up with a couple of dozen good ones.  A birthday, an afternoon blowing bubbles, the day you won the talent contest at school, when grandpa said he was proud of you… whatever it is, I’ve never met anyone who if they changed their thinking, couldn’t find a few dozen, even if short, memories.

Those memories are all you have of the past.  It’s gone.  It can only be retrieved and relived in your mind.  Most of my memories are of mundane things.  A trip to the shopping mall, the feel of sand as I walked along the shore, or the lazy and comforting feel of the Santa Ana winds blowing around me on an early school morning.

About two years ago, I started writing down these memories.  Well, typing them into a blog.  I titled it, A Wonderful Life and as I say on my “About Me” page, George Bailey has nothing on me.  It has been such a rewarding experience for me.  I’ve described teachers who encouraged me, memories my father made with me, inside jokes between my mother and I… and each story has cemented in my mind, what a marvelous life I’ve truly had.  Thank you Lord.

So, I want to encourage you.  Take the time to write those memories down.  Put them in a journal, type them into a blog, create scrapbooked pages of them and bind them in a book… however you do it, get them down.  Then share them with your parents.  If your parents are no longer with you, save them for your children.  The day will come when they’ll treasure them.  If you need help making the words flow, tape them into a recorder or even your digital camera and then transcribe them.  Get a writer friend to edit it and make them a little more polished if you aren’t confident but honestly, the words coming from your own “lips” mean the most.  Perfection isn’t the point.  Completion is.  Do it.  You’ll never regret it and you’ll bless others when you do.

This is a short life we live here.  Every moment of every day is a precious gift from the Lord.  Cherish the memories of that gift and share them with others.  You’ll receive a double blessing of the life lived and the memory retained and others will know that you appreciate what the Lord has done for you.

And… just because I want to share how much fun this has been… here are a couple of pages I’ve done for my parents’ memory book.  I really need to get a move on!  (And yes, there are a few errors that need correction!)

I plan a whole book of the stories I put on my blog as a gift for them.  I’m curious-  will they remember things as I do or will they not recognize the same events?