Epsom and Cheam girls' parenting manual causes media storm
10:28am Thursday 12th April 2012 in Where I Live
Two schoolgirls have sparked a media storm after writing the first-ever parenting manual compiled by teenagers.
17-year-olds Megan Lovegrove, from Nork in Banstead, and Louise Bedwell, from Cheam, who attend Nonsuch School for Girls in Cheam, have written Teenagers Explained - a guide which tackles the most awkward of teen topics.
The publishers of the guide, White Ladder Press, came up with the idea and approached local schools with a competition aimed at finding the best young people to write it. Megan and Louise impressed with their creative writing assignment and appeared before a panel of judges in their quest to win.
Launched last week the guide has attraced national and international press coverage, which has taken the girls by surprise.
Megan said: "The launch has been really hectic, but amazing - on Tuesday we did seven radio interviews and were also interviewed by the BBC World Service. We are appearing on the Lorraine Kelly programme on Wednesday.
"It’s so weird. I look at the book as something I wrote and think ‘why do people want to read it?’. I can’t quite believe it all.
"My parents are very proud. They have read it and said they are going to steal some of the tips. My mum was quite shocked by some of the things teenagers have to face now."
Teenagers Explained is based on the girls’ own experiences, as well as extensive research of the opinions of others their age. A large part of the guide contains suggestions to improve the adult-teenager relationship.
Megan said: "The publishers liked our writing style and our sense of humour and gave us this amazing opportunity that we will never have again.
"We all know how life with a teenager can be erratic and emotionally trying and it can lead to teenagers no longer having a happy relationship with their parents, which we think is really sad. We try to give an insight into how to get along with teens, how to help them, and - importantly - how not to annoy them.
"Hopefully the book will help improve relationships between parents and teenagers and parents will take on some of our tips - especially on communication, which is a fundamental part of that relationship.
"One of the biggest points we make is that teenagers don’t like to be patronised or nagged.
"I understand parents want to protect their children and still view them as their little babies but they are adults and need to make their own mistakes and need to be supported through this."
Louise said the guide offers a unique insight to parents as its authors are in tune with the issues faced by today’s young people.
She said: "We wanted it to be a real tell-it-like-it-is manual from the teenagers' perspective.
"The authors of most other teen parenting books are probably over 40 and that's practically ancient and whilst many adults like to think they're young at heart, a lot has changed since they were teens.
"We had to analyse our own behaviour when writing the book, and that has certainly helped us to recognise how at times we may have annoyed our parents, and also how we may have unintentionally worried them, such as when going out without telling them where."
Most-hated patronising phrases:
- In my days exams were really hard
- It’s not the end of the world
- I bet none of your friends are like this
- If you don’t like it, go live somewhere else
- You are still a minor while you live under my roof