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Lose the Cape: Ain't Nothing but a Teen Thang

Book review of the parenting book Lose the Cape: Ain't Nothing but a Teen Thang

Ahhh... parenting teenagers...

Are you currently parenting a teen or have children who will be there soon?

This book is for parents who are about to embark upon the tween and teen years and are feeling a little bit overwhelmed. While any parent or grandparent could enjoy reading it, it's mostly suited as a book to prepare parents OR as a resource for parents who are already struggling with their teen. Because let's face it - parenting teenagers is a whole new world!

This book is part mom humor, part advice from moms who have been there, done that, and part advice from guest experts who hope to arm unsuspecting parents with the tools they need to survive the years of raising a teenager.

In this book we aim to:

- empower parents and teenagers to communicate together
- show parents how to advocate for their children
- provide resources to help make decisions when parenting teens and keep them safe
- provide practical solutions (especially for communication and power struggles)
- create community and make you realize we're all in this together

For those of you who have “grown up” with the Lose the Cape community: We wrote the first book when our children were in elementary school and younger. As our kids have grown, we’ve grown as parents as well. We wanted to provide a book for other parents who are also transitioning into this point with their oldest child and don’t want to go it alone. 

(We’ve got your back!) We've included stories and practical advice. We come to you with our experiences and our history in the hopes that you will feel like you are not alone, and certainly not judged for the decisions you make. We do not come from a place of judgment, but in true Lose the Cape! spirit, we come in solidarity. We will survive this phase together too! 

Teen Thang Features over 20 Co-Authors to bring diversity and many points of view. We tackle difficult to talk about topics, like sex, what we allow our kids to do and at what age, puberty, and all of those fun subjects that make us squirm. 

So what are you waiting for? Whether you already have a teen or you'll be there soon, the time is NOW. 

I adore the spirit behind this book. If you’re Super Mom, keep doing what you do... we non-Supermoms get to see that it’s okay to be us. Lose the Cape: Ain’t Nothing But A Teen Thang is a book for moms written by moms. The book is divided into four parts with essays aiming to cover the whole gamut of parenting:  

  • The joys of parenting including some of the uproarious moments that we get to experience 
  • The practical stuff like standing up for our children and teaching them how to get through childhood
  • Tough subjects such as how to impart values, talk about difficult topics like sex and some of the hard decisions we have to make
  • The experts point of view – we get legal, social and psychological advice for dealing with our children

While Lose the Cape: Ain’t Nothing But A Teen Thang is primarily geared at parents of tweens and teens, there’s information that can apply to every child, regardless of their age.

Know God: As I read some of the stories, I was amazed by how God equips mothers to deal with their children. Each mother had a specific set of circumstances to deal with. But, in all of it there is the reminder that God is the Creator of us all. He gives us each a set of circumstances designed to save us in His kingdom. He gave us the job of parenting to teach us grace, patience and love.

Through the lens of being a parent we learn more about God. We come to understand His great love for humanity… and we also realize that He has a sense of humor because so many things about parenting can be absolutely hilarious.

Know yourself: One of the things we are invited to do as we read, is to do so without casting judgment. Being a mom is hard and we do not know what the other parent is going through. For that reason, we should not judge them because we are not the ones walking in their shoes.

The way we parent is directly related to how we were raised and our experiences. That’s okay. Know why you do the things you do. If there is something that needs to be changed, start working on it now. Your child is going to identify it and either model the behavior or hone in on it as a weakness.

Run your race: Too often we try to be the “mom next door” or “Super Mom”. That’s not going to work. We only have the ability to be ourselves. Anything else will eventually expose us as a fraud.

Be the best mom that you can be.

Does that mean seeking a community or some form of support? Does it mean googling “how to be a good parent”? Do that. But give yourself space to be yourself. Don’t be fooled by social media, a lot of the images we see do not provide a true picture of a person's life.

Favorite Quotes: Ain't Nothing But A Teen Thang

In summary: Teenage boys. They smell. They use up all the water and eat all the food. They have questions I can’t answer, hurts I can’t heal, dreams I can’t always fulfill. They put kindness into the world, they make me scream in frustration at times, and other times weep with gratitude. I’m proud of who they are, I will worry about them until I am no longer with them, and I love them more than they know. Heather LeRoss

At 10, I teach all my boys how to wash their own laundry, a chore that becomes their responsibility and later something that becomes a habit. Want clean socks? Do your laundry! It's worked. And now my oldest never has to say, “Mom did you see my soccer jersey?” because I didn't wash it… So that's how I began the journey of survival. Surviving by teaching them to survive without me. Gretchen Kellaway

The small things are the big things, especially when the big things (love, relationship, changes, bodies) are awkward. That saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff” is, in a sense, correct. The small stuff is putting in the time. The small stuff is reading. The small stuff is asking his opinion and listening to it. Jennifer Rosen Heinz

Learning to listen without passing judgment or giving unwanted advice, will radically improve your relationship, (and this goes for any relationship), and make your teen feel accepted and understood. That way they are more likely to come to you when they DO need help or advice. Nerys Copelovitz

Before I had kids, I imagined something semi-glamorous, where I would calmly respond to all my children’s needs -Jennifer Laurenza, Ain't Nothing But A Teen Thang

Anything he texts, shares on social media or emails says something about him. If I saw it, would he be embarrassed? If his grandparents saw it, would he be worried? If his priest or teachers saw it, would he freak out?

If he can answer “no” to those statements, I tell him he is in a pretty good place. If he would say “yes,” think again about the post. Kerry Rivera

Parents raise their kids with one final goal in mind -- to prepare them for independence. Christine Carter

Our kids turned out okay, and so will yours. Don’t be afraid to monitor what they’re doing on social media. It’s much better to embarrass them than it is to wish you’d paid more attention. Leslie Blanchard

The most important way to teach your teens that they are lovable, valuable, and capable is for you yourself to know you are lovable, valuable, and capable and to treat yourself and others in this way. If you do not know this for yourself, you will not be able to teach your teens. Not only that, but you will model the opposite to them and your teens will internalize that they too are not lovable, valuable, or capable. Lindsay Smith

Being a parent is hard. Apparently being a parent to teens and tweens is even more challenging. The best way to get through the journey is to surround yourself with community, learn as much as you can and learn not to take yourself too seriously.

I had the pleasure of being part of the launch team for Ain’t Nothing But A Teen Thang and received a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion. Have you read Lose the Cape: Ain’t Nothing But A Teen Thang? What did you think?

Loved this review? Grab your copy of Lose the Cape: Ain’t Nothing But A Teen Thang

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