Queen Bees & Wannabes

At the advice of my pal and middle school principal, Andrew, I recently read Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. This book is an insight into the social world of teenage girls and boys. And it completely freaked me out! 

The book details the daily social grind of being a teenage girl, which includes worrying about what you say and what you wear. Everything from the pain of being left out of your clique to not being invited to an invitation only party in sixth grade is detailed in this book.

Why did it leave me so freaked out? I actually had to put the book down 100 pages in on a flight to a bat-mitzvah. And then I spent the entire bat-mitzvah weekend analyzing the social interactions of the teenagers I was surrounded by.

ANXIETY. Reading this book had literally transported me back to my junior high and high school years and left me panicked. Now, of course, we can analyze my need to manage this anxiety. But, my friend’s advice to read this book was spot on. The book allowed me further insight into the lives of people I work with every day and the world in which they live. I can only hope I provide them respite from this savage world.

Parents-this is a must read. I don’t agree with everything written in it. But, the book succeeds in reminding parents what daily life of a teenager can be like. And it provides helpful tools for speaking to your teens about important issues like how they dress, how they treat others, and how they handle difficult social situations.  Wiseman wisely identifies “landmines” where she clearly points out terminology to avoid using with your teenager with practical solutions to issues. I have already changed some of the terms I use after reading this book like saying “people in your grade” versus “people your age.” I encourage you to read the practical advice provided, with your eyes wide open, and at least stay open minded to the message of the book: Teenage life is hard and teens depend on their parents to be open minded, listen, and most importantly, be present in their lives.

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