Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Notes from a Mum to teenagers

I had been to this book launch and talked to the author.

Name: Crushes, Careers & Cellphones
Author: Manjiri Gokhale Joshi
Publisher: Vitasta
Price: Rs 199

When you are a kid, parents are “ancient”, and possible source of embarrassment before peers. Not that they try to understand you, but somehow they are unable to understand today's pace of life and “over-react.”
They fuss over your grades, participation in a play, praise you sky high before friends and relatives, while you squirm and wish they would stop...
Sometimes you try and tell them it's okay to go out with guys if you are a girl and with girls you are a guy. What's the big deal in hanging out together?
These and many more issues affecting today's kids and youngsters have been written by Manjiri Gokhale Joshi in her book, “Crushes, Career & Cellphones”.
Manjiri describes the book as, “Quick notes from a mum to a teenager.”
Before you make up your mind that this is another children's book talking down to kids, you are wrong. Teenagers across the world (Fifteen kids from Pune) have also contributed their views on what the Mum (Manjiri) to two daughters has written. So if you have the mother frowning upon the excessive usage of texting, pinging and being connected with friends at the dining table, the teenagers have the chance to air their side of the story in “From the teenagers' chatroom” section.
Besides light-hearted topics like “Big deal”, “Embarrassment” and “Achievement,” the book also talks about single parents, divorce and stepparent/stepchildren.
Children's books have often portrayed the stereotypical happy family: Mum, Dad and two kids. But, if you look around there are so many single mums, single dads, divorced or widows. They also do their best to give their child love of both mother and father and vice versa. Children brought up in such families are also happy. So I have tried to address these issues as well,” says Manjiri who is a step-parent.
The book's thrust is on telling the kids that, while their parents may not say it aloud, they want their sons and daughters to come back home if they have been in a problem - drugs alcohol or failure. Suicide isn't the answer, talking is.

Teenagers comment

1) Mum, Dad, please do not overreact if I go out with my best friend if he is a boy.
- Sanghamitra Shastri
Std IX, Delhi Public School

  1. It's okay to sleep over at a friend's place once in a while. And, I am old enough to walk down to the mall unescorted.
- Aishwarya Raj
Std XI, Nowrosjee Wadia College
  1. Ma, don't read my text messages and if you do, don't be surprised by its content. Don't pair me with my girl friends. They are friends who are girls.
- Adnan Shaikh
Std XI, Delhi Public School
  1. It's okay if parents flaunt our achievements. After all when we were young, we loved to boast about what toys or games we had. So what's the big deal if parents praised our minor achievements before their friends.
Virajas Kulkarni
Mass communication Student at Mithibai College

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