MH: I am a mother of two teenagers. I have been writing almost all of my life. I wrote for my high school and college newspapers, and then I wrote for scholarly journals (mostly book reviews). I have BA and MA degrees in English literature. I taught writing and college skills classes at a local community college. I also worked briefly as a technical writer. I started to write for consumer magazines about sixteen years ago. My specialty is in children’s health and development. Much of my work is inspired by issues that come up as I raise my own children, but I've also written on topics that involved children in my community or topics that other parents or editors have asked me to write about.
MH: My column, Lions and Tigers and Teens, debuted in June 2009 and is printed in many parenting magazines across the country. My own teens were the original inspiration for the column. Many parents who wrote to me with tips for the column suggested I put the columns together into a guide. I started to look at all of the columns I had already written, and I realized that compiling my favorites together was a fabulous idea! The chapters are actually longer than the original column installments. I added more from the original interviews, and I added additional tips. There are also several topics that have never before been published. The book is a lighthearted journey through the ups and downs of raising teenagers. It provides advice from many perspectives - dozens of experts in the field as well as practical advice from parents. Topics include universal issues, such as bullying, how to deal with lying, self esteem, test anxiety, friendship issues, and enforcing curfews.
BBB: Do you have a favorite story from the book or one that really seems to stick out?
MH: My personal favorite is “The Locked Door.” I loved writing the lead-in for this one which is a humorous recollection of the first time I couldn’t get into my son’s room because his door was locked. This chapter discusses the issue of teens wanting more privacy and where to draw the line. Other parents have told me that they found “Down in the Dumps” (about teen depression) and “Beating Bullies” (about how schools and parents can prevent bullying) to be very eye-opening. The “Tips and Tales” section at the end of each chapter has great suggestions and comments from other parents, school counselors, and even students.
BBB: What do you hope readers will take away from LIONS and TIGERS and TEENS?
MH: No parent is perfect. However, if you are willing to try different approaches and communicate with your teen regularly, you can solve any issue. Collaborate with your teens to find solutions to problems, and your teen will be well on his/her way to becoming an accomplished adult. LIONS and TIGERS and TEENS has many perspectives, so every reader can find something that will help them with their personal situation.
MH: I have lots of material for a LIONS and TIGERS and TEENS II if I choose to go that route. I also continue to write the column and I write feature pieces for parenting magazines. I have an idea for a new column about midlife as well.
Readers can find Myrna Haskell's book and more information and reviews at:
www.amazon.com and www.amazon.co.uk (paperback and e-book)
www.myrnahaskell.com (author’s website)
www.unlimitedpublishing.com/haskell (publisher’s website)