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13 is the new 18 : and other things my children taught me while I was having a nervous breakdown being their mother
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13 is the new 18 : and other things my children taught me while I was having a nervous breakdown being their mother

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  131 ratings  ·  36 reviews
“I wonder sometimes if there’s something to the old superstition about the number thirteen. Maybe that superstition was originally created by the mothers in some tribe who noticed that in their children’s thirteenth year, they suddenly became possessed by evil spirits. Because it did seem that whenever Taz was around, things spilled and shattered, calm turned into chaos, a ...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published (first published 2009)
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3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  131 ratings  ·  36 reviews


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Stacy
Mar 09, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh it started out with such promise! Very funny and relatable until it dawned on me that more and more of Beth Harpaz's problems with her boys were completely avoidable if she would just recognize that she is the parent and not let her son dictate life. She bemoans her fate as a pushed aside mother with a "wink, wink, nudge, nudge, isn't this way it goes with teenage boys?" No Beth, it's not. Not if you can stand your ground and be the adult here. Sheesh, I was completely irritated by the time I ...more
Jaymi Clemens
I did not think this was a very well-written book about raising a teenager. It seemed to me that most of this mom's problems were actually caused by her lack of parenting skills. Some funny parts, but overall not really worth reading.
Alex
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with boys in the family or around you
Recommended to Alex by: Valerie
Shelves: high-school
I didn't actually want to finish reading this book because of the what I though was "boring mother complaints and frustration vented into words on paper." However, I was stuck outside waiting to take an assessment and It was either stare into space or read this book. I decided to do both. It was a really quick read AND I DON'T READ FAST AT ALL! anyways onto the review....

This book describes exactly what is going on with teenagers these( specifically boys)at this day and age. Loved the exact deta
...more
Valerie
Jan 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Andrea Yanowitz, and all the terrible mommies
Recommended to Valerie by: desperation
I find this difficult to believe, but one of my boys will be a teenager any second. I think I need to read this.

I like any book that reassures me that I am not the only bad mommy out there. My son is about to turn 13...I can feel gray hair jumping out of my scalp as I write this. Although, one of my students was kind enough to say it was silver, not gray as I complained today.
Holly
Jun 09, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a gift. Now that I have read it, the kindest thing that I can think to do with it is to recycle it.

Raising teenagers can be trying, often requires humor and the camaraderie you find with other parents. This book did outline many trying situations. It also provided some humor. But I failed to connect to this author as a mom. By the end of the story I was flat out irritated with her for her complaints about her issues with her older son and the insinuation that her issues are what w
...more
Sarah
As someone who works with teens, I found this book really aggravating. First, this woman is annoying. Partially, her son is embarrassed and annoyed by her because she is embarrassing and annoying. Second, I failed to see what the big deal was.

Her son went through several perfectly normal things for 13 year old boys -- I see this stuff in my teens all the time -- but she was just completely unprepared to deal with it. I wasn't surprised by anything that she presented in this book as a BIG DEAL b
...more
Melissa Guimont
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, nonfiction
Even though I'm not a parent, I found this book to be interesting based on the cover description. It's more of a humorous adventure into the lives of a teenager and his mother. It starts off with funny stories about the way teenagers dress and the male's obsession with Axe body spray. Then it moves on to hillarity with finding "contraband" in the form of condoms and pot in her child's room and the whole "facebook" revolution at the time this book was written. Whenever you get the urge to strangl ...more
Jo Oehrlein
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is a series of humorous essays by the mom of a 13 year old boy in New York City. Her work reminds me of that of Erma Bombeck.

She tells of the perfect student who now won't complete homework and is disrespectful to teachers. She tells a story of him getting in trouble at the 8th grade graduation dance. For all the moms of teenagers, even if this isn't your kid, you'll recognize at least some aspects from your kid or your kid's friends.

My daughter (who IS 13 years old) saw the book out a
...more
Laura
Nov 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first in a big pile of "parenting your teen" books I requested from the library. I thought I'd start with a light memoir to ease into the genre and relieve my worries. It did not relieve anything. I am not prepared for heartache on this level! It did open the way for a conversation with my soon-to-be-twelve-year-old boy, on what changes our relationship might go through as he grows up. He says he'll never be sick of his parents or stop wanting to hang out with us. His innocence is so touchin ...more
Ruth
May 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up randomly at the library a few weeks ago while feeling especially frustrated by my own 13 year old. It was very cathartic to know (1) that so much of what frustrates me is just natural teenage behaviour and not pathological as it sometimes seems and (2) it could be way way way worse than it is.

This book is a quick read. Well written with lots of funny (and some scary) anecdotes about young teenagers and family dynamics.
Jill Zitzewitz
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me laugh a lot, and reminded me that all is going to be okay with this raising teenagers phase that we've hit in our family. At times I couldn't relate to the city lifestyle, but I could definitely relate to the author's parenting style. The book actually made me grateful that we don't live in the city so I still get glimmers into my kids' thoughts and friends as I drive them around to soccer games, etc.
Julia
Mar 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julia by: Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Harpaz certainly strikes many familiar chords in this story of her surviving her son's 13th year. It's a sometimes very funny look at raising kids in the early years of the 21st century, when you can't decide if it's good or bad that you can reach them all the time via cell phone! And naturally, it would come as a shock that there would be any sort of generation gap, as Harpaz (and the readers) would have to be much cooler than their own, supposedly clueless, parents.
Santha
Mar 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, my dear friend Traci got this to share with me because she knew I was learning about 13 year old boys and how to care for them. This book is not going to win the Nobel in Lit, but it is TRUE, TRUE, TRUE. Some of the conversations in here happened VERBATIM in my house. Very comforting. I had a few laughs and a few cries.
Corby
Jul 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a glimpse into quintessential NYC living as a middle class family with a teenage boy. A quick read with a little humor sprinkled in, as long as you aren't one of those uptight "Perfect Mother" types since there's a bit of description of young teenagers being around less-than-holy influences...
Anna
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
If you've never had a teenage child then you might enjoy or be horrified as to what comes along with having a teen. This book is about the mother dealing with her teenage son. I found some parts I could relate to and other parts, I couldn't believe, how nieve the mother was!It was a cute book, but not the be all end all..
Marnie
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
For any of you who have teenagers especially boys, you will enjoy this book! It has points that all of us can relate too with ourselves growing up and also what your teenager is doing these days. There were definitely funny parts in here. I can see both of my boys who are 21 and 14 in here and just laugh at yep, that's them alright.
Jenny
Nov 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two years ago I would not have been able to relate to anything in this book. But, boy, did I ever chuckle and sigh in painful recognition as I read of the exploits of the author's 13 yr old son. The book is mostly a personal narrative, but I came away from it feeling a small amount of hope that someday my son might be decent person.
Gina
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it, but could have gone without All the Capitalization. That aside, this is a scary but funny and realistic look into what having a teenager is like these days...wondering what it'll be like when my son is a teen in another 11 (gasp) years.
Tmcmath
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a funny look at a mom dealing with her son that is now 13, and what a completely different animal he has become. A great read for anyone who is crossing or in the midst of having a boy age 13.
Hope
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family, non-fiction
A witty, sometimes profane look at raising thirteen year old boys. Frankly, I was not very encouraged.
Marcia
Jul 31, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition


Fairly negative attitude from a mother who didn't expect much from her teenager son. Had to skim after the first disgusting chapter....

Kristen Lopez
Actually, I think 11 is the new 18.
Suzanne
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific writer---funny, lighthearted yet meaningful---great book!
Vicki
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting mom. Not my parenting style but I loved her take on current events like facebook.
Robyn
Nov 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a mother raising 2 boys this book was an interesting look into my future. It was funny and scary at the same time.
Ceryta Holm
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I tore through this book in about a day. It was hilarious, and one of those "I'm not alone" kind of experiences.
Heather
A quick funny read that I found on the New and Noteable shelf at the library. Would be relevant to Moms with 13 year old boys. Mine are still young and still want me everywhere they are!
Heidi Boyd
May 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heidi by: louise duncan
Comical account written by the journalist mother of two boys. A must read for anyone with an adolescent teen at home. Happy to know the eighth grade/thirteen phenomenon is not unique to my home.
Melisa Shafer
Witty observations, but already a bit outdated. And I found her a little passive-aggressively whiny.
Deb Johnson
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have so many places marked in this book...they are verbatim conversations in our house! It's good to know that I'm not alone...and also a little scary to think that it could still get worse.
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