Dear Friends and Fellow Parents (or Grandparents) of Teens and Soon-to-be Teens.

My book, “Thirty Five Things Your Teens Won’t Tell You So I Will” is available on Amazon from Turner Publishing. I hope you will purchase it and read it, in that order.

It’s both a humor book and a how-to book. The how-to part isn’t preachy and condescending in part because I‘m not a religious leader, psychologist or psychiatrist, in part because that’s not my style.

My experience comes from raising three close-in-age teens -- I had three kids in three years --(Yes, yikes!) and from having represented children and teens in court for more than thirteen years.

Parenting teens can be highly stressful. If you are not prepared when things go south fast (and they usually do go south fast), you can feel incredibly small and phenomenally stupid. Which is why, to succeed, you must come armed for the task from Day One. And you should also know that once you suit up and sign on, parenting teens can be fun and rewarding (some of the time.)

My book has thirty five easy-to-follow rules and a bunch of do’s and don’ts that sound funny. This is otherwise known as strange but true.

In short, I sincerely hope that after reading this book, you feel smart, and pumped even. I wish this book had been there for me when my kids were tweens or maybe younger, even.

Just a tiny sampling of what I will tell you:

That you should not conduct your family like a democracy but rather like a medieval fiefdom (only yours is, ideally, a more hygienic one). You must consider yourself an Enlightened Despot and your teens, serfs. This is not to say you should treat your teens shabbily. Far from it. It is to say that you must lay out what your expectations are if you are to avoid having your kids steamroll you (which I describe as having sneaker treads on your face, for want of a more graphic image.)

In my book, I use a lot a military imagery. I tell the reader that raising teens is a lot like war but without the gore.

I tell you very specifically the kinds of facial expressions and body stances you must develop to enable you to deal with advancing hordes of teens or just even one teen (your own) trying to get through (you and) your front door.

I also tell you to forget traditional ideas about good teens and trust. And just so you know: when it comes to teens, it’s not a question of who’s bigger. Even if you are, they usually move faster than you.

And, lastly, I can tell you what it’s like to find out after the fact Jack that, despite extensive advance planning on your part, to have your teens throw a party when you are out of town. And I tell you how to deal with the aftermath. Hint: it’s not pretty. And shouldn’t be.

And more than a few times while reading my book, you may find yourself laughing out loud. It’s all true and it’s all there for you.


Cheers and enjoy the ride.


Ellen Pober Rittberg