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BellaOnline's Adolescence Editor

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YOU HAVE TO SAY I'M PRETTY, YOU'RE MY MOTHER! (the authors' interview)

Guest Author - C.S. Bezas

Stephanie Pierson has written books and magazine articles on parenting. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, and The Oxygen Network.

Phyllis Cohen, CSW, is a psychotherapist who has a full-time private practice in New York City. She lectures on issues of adolescence and is a cofounder of the Brooklyn Center for Families in Crisis.

Adolescence: How did the two of you meet?
SP: I was researching the subject for a book and needed professional expertise. A psychotherapist referred me to Phyllis and we worked well together and complimented each other's experiences.

Adolescence: How did your book, YOU HAVE TO SAY I'M PRETTY, YOU'RE MY MOTHER, evolve?
SP: From that initial meeting, we agreed on a co-authorship. The intro to our book tells about my personal experience with my daughter being the inspiration for the book - Phyllis's years of experience in private practice with girls and mothers added another dimension to this.

Adolescence: What was the most challenging part of researching the book?
SP: There are so many areas to explore in body image - both teens and their mothers.

Adolescence: How much time did the research take?
SP: It took us 2 years to research, write and deliver the manuscript.

Adolescence: From that research, what has become your greatest concern for
today's teenage girls?

PC/SP: It's harder for teenage girls to maintain a solid sense of themselves and distill the various toxic body messages.

Adolescence: What are the three most important tools a mother has?
SP: Maintaining a loving relationship, learning about her own important role in her daughter's body image issues and developing her own self-awareness, developing the skills to listen and learn from her daughter.

Adolescence: What is the one thing you want mothers to remember from reading YOU HAVE TO SAY I'M PRETTY, YOU'RE MY MOTHER?
PC: The greatest gift you can give your daughter is to help her separate, become her own person, and have a strong sense of self-worth.

Adolescence: What books would you recommend for parents of teenage boys?
PC: A Fine Young Man: What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do to Shape Adolescent Boys into Exceptional Men, by Michael Gurian and The Courage to Raise Good Men, by Olga Silverstein

Adolescence: Any final words?
PC: We want mothers to remember that adolescence is a phase of life in which there is a lot of struggle between girls and their mothers. We want to encourage mothers to stay close to their daughters and remember that every slammed door will open one day.
SP: Mothers need to know (and it's quite reassuring) that their daughter may seem like a stranger who no longer loves them - the truth is, your daughter loves you and needs you - that primary bond is still there and will re-surface once she (and you!) have matured.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Read the book review under Related Links to find out how you can get a free copy of this book!

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Content copyright © 2014 by C.S. Bezas. All rights reserved.
This content was written by C.S. Bezas. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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