Mom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore

Navigating 25 Inevitable Conversations That Arrive Before You Know It

A mother’s spot-on account of tackling her daughter’s tough questions during her formative preteen years

Parenting a preteen can be a bit like trudging up a dune in the Mojave. Just when you think you’re on firm ground, the sands slip. Maybe your twelve-year-old jumped in the car and confided that she got her first period, or your thirteen-year-old just asked, “Have you ever smoked marijuana?” In Mom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore, Sue Sanders shares twenty-five essays about such conversations with her now fourteen-year-old daughter, on topics that all parents face but not many are prepared to tackle.

Preteens are suddenly old enough to form their own opinions—but still young enough to care about yours, which makes Sanders’s startlingly honest accounts so valuable. From doling out advice on dealing with a mean girl (alongside her own middle school memories) to other conversations that go beyond “the talk,” Sanders recounts these teachable moments for readers who are grappling with how they will answer the same questions. By trusting their gut, answering honestly, holding onto their sense of humor, and recognizing that everyone carries a bit of their past into their kids’ present, readers can lay a strong foundation through genuine communication—one that can withstand the seismic force of the adolescent eye-roll.

“The preteen years can be especially harrowing for mothers of girls, as mom Sanders demonstrates in her sharp collection of stories and essays. Organized around hot-button questions brought up by her own preteen daughter, the author tackles a diverse set of issues with a distinctive narrative. . . Sanders’s memoir of parenting her daughter through a rather happy childhood is standout work with true depth, and she carefully reminds readers that parenting on autopilot doesn’t work. However, this is not a book of parenting advice; it is a book about what to expect if you’re doing it right.”—Publishers Weekly

“With humor, sobriety, and grace, Sanders takes the reader into the dynamics of family life as well as aspects of her own childhood—she was raised by conservative parents in a small town where prejudice and ignorance abounded—gleaning the mores and lessons she does and does not want to pass on to her daughter.”—ForeWord Reviews

Mom, I’m Not A Kid Anymore captures the challenging, amusing and sometimes profound discussions she’s had with [her daughter] Lizzie, now 14.”—The Oregonian

“This book reads like a conversation with your friend and offers one perspective of how to approach your baffling preteen. There are nuggets of wisdom which you can then apply to your specific situation.”—Portland Book Review

“Sue Sanders offers a double delight: fresh, trenchant advice for parents fearing the ‘terrible tweens,’ and a moving family portrait. Hard-earned wit and wisdom can be found on each and every page.”
Linda Keenan, author of Suburgatory, the title behind the ABC sitcom

“Sue Sanders has been there, answered that, and figured out what matters most to kids and parents. (Hint: Honesty and humor loom large.)”
Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids

Mom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore should be handed out to parents at every middle school orientation meeting. It’s filled with the stuff parents whisper to each other—or keep to themselves—when it comes to raising young teens. Sue Sanders (and her daughter Lizzie) provide a common sense guide to the conversations you’ll navigate through middle school and beyond.”
Jen SingerMommaSaid.net, author of You’re a Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren’t So Bad Either)

“Compulsively readable, heartfelt, and funny, this book is a savvy best friend I will turn to again and again as my kids grow up. Sanders deftly aces the dance all parents engage in when counseling their kids about the rites of passage of adolescence—and her transparency regarding her own hair-raising youthful shenanigans is a welcome tonic of ‘real’ seldom found in this genre.”
Candace Walsh, author of Licking the Spoon: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Identity

“A fun and often astute look at the ways that our teenage children drive us mad and to a new place of clarity. Sanders offers real answers on how to get through the looking glass of our children all in one piece.”
Suzanne Finnamore, bestselling author of Otherwise Engaged and Split

“Sanders deeply engages with all the sticky (and some of the most heartening) situations of parenting a young adult. She guides us through terra incognita with grace, wit, compassion, and a whole lot of smarts. Her compass is true.”
Melissa Holbrook Pierson, author of The Perfect Vehicle and The Place You Love Is Gone

From The Experiment Publishing | 978-1-61519-078-2 | $14.95

Author of Mom, I'm Not a Kid Anymore