Category: Children

Girlfriends’ Guide to Teenagers: Smells Like Teen Spirit—All Over My House!

Last Friday, I titled my blog, “We’ll Remember Always, Graduation Day” and was told several times by readers that I needed to clean up my syntax. Really?? Doesn’t anyone remember the Beach Boys’ cover of a song that was first made popular by my mother’s heartthrobs, the Four Freshmen? It’s a song title, people!

So, for those of you who may have taken a pop cultural nap over the last twenty years, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is the title of an album and song from Nirvana. Remember them?

“With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us.
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us.”

Anyway, I now know well what Teen Spirit smells like. It’s got a kind of sweet smell that lies somewhere between a newborn’s breath and vomit. It’s full of health and vigor and danger and risk. All I know is, I got a good whiff of it last more ›

Girlfriends’ Guide to Teenagers: “We’ll Remember Always Graduation Day”

I never pictured myself one of those sentimental mothers who would add emotional significance to Senior Prank Night or Mystery Night. I felt more contemporary than that; I could relate to the excitement and sense of anarchy that accompanied the sigh of relief and pride in surviving the gauntlet of high school and college. But I was delusional.

I should have known I was a goner when I burst into tears at my first child’s preschool Halloween Parade, twenty years ago. I’ve cried at any parade or processional ever since. I feel like I’ve been on a rotisserie and repeatedly basted with loss, pride, fear and joy for the last ten years and I’ve still not built up a thick skin. My children have attended a school where everything they’ve done has been memorialized in professionally recorded DVDs, and what is irritatingly evident in every soundtrack has been my laughter and my absolute delight in their existence. I’m like the Devoted Mommy version of Roseanne Barr singing the national more ›

Girlfriends’ Guide to Teenagers: Momma Does Coachella!

Ok, so maybe I wasn’t really the very oldest person at the three-day festival in the Indio desert last weekend, but I was certainly the most improbable person in the daily crowd of 78,000. I missed Woodstock, but in my teens I had more than my share of dusty and reckless rock bacchanalias. I saw Hendrix burn his guitar and Janis wail and once stood frozen in terror between a battalion of police officers and a gang of Hell’s Angels who were throwing bottles and rocks at them.

Those experiences may look colorful in my autobiography someday, if I can remember them by the time I get around to writing such a thing, but they strike me now as hideous cocktails of second degree sunburns, more dust than a tractor pull, the specter of LSD lacing everything from drinking water to cookies and juice and the inevitable lust and violence that drugs, alcohol and utter exhaustion inspire in young people-or old people for that more ›

Girlfriends’ Guide to Teenagers: School Bullies Hit Parents Where It Hurts

I’ve been working on this blog since the beginning of the week when 9 teenagers were finally indicted for various crimes that appear to have led to the suicide of Phoebe Prince. Phoebe, for those of you who don’t know, was a 15 year-old freshman and new student from Ireland at a middle class Massachusetts high school who made the mistake of having sex with a senior boy on the football team, thereby inspiring several month of harassment and bullying from his female friends.

One day in January, right before the big school dance, a car of these mean girls drove by Phoebe and hurled an energy drink can at her. She went home and hung herself in her closet. Worse, the mean girls continued the hatefest at the dance two days more ›

Girlfriends’ Guide to Teenagers: Help Me, PLEASE!

Everybody, please sit down, I have something to share with you: As of this blog, I am going to focus on a single area of concern–TEENAGERS–for the foreseeable future. Yes, you know me as the gadfly who holds forth on everything from pink pubic hair to Sarah Palin (I can’t wait till I can write blog about them both in the SAME post!)

But I have been working on my next book, GIRLFRIENDS’ GUIDE TO TEENAGERS, for a couple of years now, and it occurred to me that perhaps you readers might want to weigh in with your opinions, personal stories and guidance. read more ›

What Are We Teaching Our Kids About The President, Anyway?


As the author of several books called Girlfriend’s Guides covering the motherhood experience from pregnancy up through teenagers (the teen book is still being written at this point) and as the mother of four kids, I’m sickened by the miasma of suspicion and cynicism that is infected so many parents regarding President Obama. I’m not going to begin a diatribe here about the profound and critical need to reform health care (which as the mother of a son diagnosed with cancer two years ago, I have some bitter feelings about,) but let’s instead begin with his back-to-school speech.

When I heard that the same parents who fail to go to Open House Night to meet the teachers who spend every day teaching our kids decided that watching the President of the United States address them was something they could not allow, I staggered. I kept reading about it to find some sense to why people were approaching a student-directed speech to their kids (with the contents available on line to parents the night before, for God’s sake!) read more ›

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce: When Parents Attack, The Kids Are the Injured Party


Yes, Anne Heche, you can say “lazy ass” on television. The question is, should you?  And the answer is, it’s NEVER appropriate when you are talking about the father of your child, as the actress was about her ex, Coley Laffoon, on Letterman the other night.

I get it that being on Dave’s show is tough, what with his attitude toward women shifting from lascivious to alienated. And with his reputation for keeping his studio as cold as a meat locker, the shivering from cold and nerves must combine to make a person move and speak with all the poise of someone suffering from hypothermia. Still, a mature parent would never blaspheme a co-parent for more ›

Three Boys For Every Girl


“I’ve been married three times,” anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “and each time I married the right person.” I get it completely. I don’t know if I would recognize the bride I was thirty years ago if she were to throw her bouquet at my face… although I do remember her as pretty and with a firm round ass that no longer exists. I feel certain, however, that she and I would be looking for very different things in a relationship, plus I’m a lot wiser than she is.

For the first marriage, a woman is driven by the biological imperative to perpetuate the DNA. Romance and lust are the propellants behind most first marriages. College-aged girls may be indifferent about the institution of marriage, but they are zealous about being brides and having weddings. The perfect guy tends to be attractive and sexy and what a “groom” should look like, and this guy is absolutely the right guy to marry at the time.
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Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorced Parents: Hey Kids, Wanna Have A Sleepover With Daddy’s New Friend?


We may be divorcing, but the father of my kids is still one of the funniest guys I know. He and I were talking on the phone recently and he explained his concept of the 5,000 Mile Rule: neither of us can date anyone who lives nearer than 5,000 miles from our homes in Los Angeles to protect everyone’s feelings — especially the dates’, because our kids are ages fifteen to twenty-one and they would torment them or embarrass them publicly. So, until I finish writing my next book in December, I’m all alone on weekends, but come January I’ll be off to look for Dmitri or Colin or Sancho. As for him, his business in Europe seems to be expanding rapidly and demanding a lot of his time.

For parents of very young children, however, getting the needs of the parents to coincide with the best interests of the children is usually fraught with agony all the way around. We all say we would do anything for our kids, including die for them, but when push comes to shove, most of us resist being inconvenienced, lonely or horny for their sakes.
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Global Warming: How Having Teenagers Makes Me An Expert On Developing Countries


It’s no coincidence that I waited till the Huffington Post moved all the environmental stuff out of the Living section before I began posting for it. Call me anything, but never call me “earnest,” please. My ecological philosophy goes something like this: Don’t be a pig and clean up your mess to your best ability. Enough said. Reading about carbon footprints just makes me feel guilty and insignificant, particularly now that the G8 meeting is coming to an end in Italy. I may be squinting at under-lit labels in my pantry because I’m using CFL’s and I may be driving a hybrid, but what difference does that make when India and China haven’t even gone through puberty, let alone been invited to the dance. The developed countries have all agreed to a “goal” to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees, but the hormonal and exceedingly populated developing countries have been trying to act invisible during this part of the summit.

Who can blame them? They haven’t had their Bruce Springsteen moments yet.

They feel born to run and are just itching for affordable cars so that Wendy can wrap her legs ’round these velvet rims. We developed (and I use this term loosely) folks orgiastically indulged in the freedom and sex appeal of cars and now that we’re middle-aged and no longer capable of rising to those emotions, we can’t understand why everyone doesn’t embrace moderation. As the mother of four kids, ages Learner’s Permit to Legal Alcohol Limit, I get the rising titans’ reluctance to restrict their appetites for the stuff all teenagers want. I don’t believe that there is a single hybrid in the senior parking lot of my kids’ high school that isn’t either a pretend fuel economizer (like a Lexus GS450h or the hybrid Tahoe) or their mother’s. Left to their own devices, youths choose fast and big every time. Even if it required a coal-burning engine and a gas mask, teens and China would drive if they more ›

Vicki Iovine – Girlfriends' Guides