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Love in the Time of Contempt : Consolations for Parents of Teenagers - Joanne Fedler

Love in the Time of Contempt

Consolations for Parents of Teenagers

Paperback

Published: 1st February 2015
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RRP $26.95
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Published: 2nd February 2015
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Growing up is hard.
There's the mood swings...
the identity crisis...
wondering what the future holds...
No-one told us growing up would be so tough...
but our teenagers need us to so they know how.

Joanne Fedler offers guidance for parents in what can be a very trying and difficult time : your child's transition into adulthood. Unlike the other books available on the subject that come from a scientific perspective, Love in a Time of Contempt is a informal, comforting counsel for parents: full of first hand experience penned by a mother of two teenagers. It also speaks to an existing market: speakers and courses on the subject, offered by secondary schools, are high in attendance.

When it comes to teenagers, truth is way scarier than fiction. Joanne Fedler draws upon her own current experiences as the parent of two teenagers, as well as interviews with other parents of teenagers to explore some of the numerous issues that one confronts as a parent of a teenager. In Love in the Time of Contempt, she skilfully guides us through the myriad of issues that come before you - from their changing, developing bodies, drinking and drugs, sex, friendships, appearance, relationships within the family, attitudes and ethics, schooling and authority and more.

In her exploration of these issues and how they may manifest in our children, Joanne highlights how so much of our dealings with our teenagers is really about dealing with ourselves and being honest about our reactions. In turn we too examine our own values and behaviours to understand our lives together.

Love in the Time of Contempt provides comfort and support as the reader recognises the real behaviours portrayed in the book (You are not alone!), and whilst there are not often easy answers to troubling behaviours, understanding goes a long way and empowers the parent to provide the right level of support in the best interests of all. How much and how little are questions which plague every parent and this book's wise counsel helps us to determine that for themselves.

'This is a book about how it feels to be the parent of someone sprouting hair, tits and attitude all over the place. It's a tussled, frazzled and complex business to remain mature while supporting someone to become an adult. At the very least, it raises the question of whether we have, in fact, done enough growing up ourselves.'

About the Author

Joanne Fedler graduated from Yale with a Masters of Law and is an ex women's rights advocate and law lecturer. She is particularly proud of the fact that she was once named Asshole of the Month by Hustler magazine for her work against violence pornography. Joanne is now a published author, journalist, inspirational speaker and writing mentor. She was born in South Africa and now lives in Sydney with her husband Zed, two teenagers and two cats.

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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Love in the Time of Contempt
 
4.8

(based on 49 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (40)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Deserves multiple readings (45)
  • Informative (44)
  • Easy to read (43)
  • Well written (43)
  • Page-turner (29)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Gift (36)
  • Reference (27)
  • Older readers (12)
  • Special needs (9)
  • Travel reading (9)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Everyday reader (25), Bookworm (13), Casual reader (8)

Reviewed by 49 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

The Teenage Parenting Bible

By 

from Johannesburg, South Africa

About Me Bookworm

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Easy To Read
  • Engaging characters
  • Informative
  • Page-Turner
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers
    • Reference
    • Special Needs
    • Travel Reading

    Comments about Love in the Time of Contempt:

    When we fall pregnant there is an entire section in most bookshops on raising babies into happy children and staying sane in the process. For most of us this advice is diligently followed and suddenly they're potty trained and before we know it, we're learning how to tame our toddler, and then somewhere in between then and us going grey, they grow up. Before we know it they have hair under their arms, and heaven knows where else, pimples and periods and all those things that we can remember happening to us not that long ago. And for the first time in our lives we feel a little bit out of control because laying down the law now is not as simple as it was when they were shorter than we were.

    There may not be an entire section of books in those same bookshops featuring best selling Teenage Parenting 101 books. There is no manual that parents of teenagers can stand in line for so that they can glide through these tumultuous years unscathed. It is for this reason that Love in the Time of Contempt deserves a very special place at the front of every bookshop.

    Besides being pregnant with hundreds of pearls of wisdom, this book is a brilliantly written and hilariously reflective account of the teenage years (from the parent's perspective), offering solace to those of us who are either about to go through it, in the midst of it, or licking our wounds on the other side. Joanne's story reminds us that we are not alone; teenagers are taking over our homes and if we don't know what they want or what they're up to, we are in big trouble.

    There are things going on out there in the world that our teenagers are being exposed to that will shock you to the core.

    Being forewarned, as they say, is being forearmed.

    Reading this book was like comparing parenting notes with Joanne over a glass of wine. I am one of those parents who has just been through the teenage years with my oldest son who is now 18.5, and I can sense that it's all starting up again with my 14.5 year old son. Being a young parent I didn't think that getting my boys through their teenage years would be too difficult because I could remember what it was like to be a teenager myself.

    When their father was killed in a car accident 7 years ago their worlds fell apart. Despite counseling and everything else that goes with it, my oldest son decided in his grade 11 year to experiment with weed - and copious amounts of it. Our lives were turned upside down and it felt as if our home had been invaded by an alien. When it all came out I discovered that although there was a measure of teenage curiosity and confusion thrown into the mix, he was using the drug to escape from the pain of losing his dad so soon; he had no other resource to dull the ache in his heart.

    Teenagers hide so much under those thick outer skins. They pretend they're invincible when in fact they are super-sensitive to everything. What Joanne suggests is that we need to learn to parent our teenagers from a safe distance. There is no need to write them off as they write us off; it's all part of them growing up. We don't need to be cool or to try to fit in with their friends. We just need to BE there, take the punches on the chin, and remember that as they pass through this tumultuous time in their lives that they still need us and in time will treasure us for always standing in the wings, even if it's only when they are 25.

    As my 14.5 year old starts his journey I feel, after reading Joanne's book, that I am armed with a secret weapon. When I dropped him off at school to go on his Grade 8 camp this morning I said to him "I'm sure you don't want me carrying all your bags over to where your friends are, so I'll kiss you goodbye here." He smiled, gave me a hug and a kiss and waltzed off, and I smiled to myself as all the other parents walked with their cringing children to the bus, completely unaware.

    We think we have all the answers when in truth we don't. And as long as we're prepared to accept that, this incredible, heartwarming, funny book will become a firm favourite on our parenting bookshelves.

     
    5.0

    Read BEFORE your child is a teenager

    By 

    from Sydney

    About Me Casual Reader

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Easy To Read
    • Engaging characters
    • Informative
    • Page-Turner
    • Parenting
    • Teenager
    • Well Written

    Cons

    • So Honest It Hurts

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers
    • Reference
    • Travel Reading

    Comments about Love in the Time of Contempt:

    Joanne's writing is gritty and real. She is, in person, as she is in the book: telling it like it is, sparing no punches. Don't be fooled when she says in her public speaking engagements that this is not a how-to book: it is. But it is not pedantic. The how-to is in the richness of the stories of life as parent of a teenager. Through the stories she weaves reminders to herself, and to us as readers, of what we need to hold onto. The richness comes not only from her own experience, but from the experience of many parents she interviewed while researching the book. Love in the Time of Contempt is a powerful read, focusing on just one central message: Stay Connected.

    Joanne sells little bracelets for parents and children to wear that represent staying connected, and although this my child's most most treasured possession. When I picked him up from after school care one day, he was crying. When I asked him what was wrong he couldn't speak, but he held the bracelet out to me as I held him. Through his tears he was telling me he was connected to me and that he had missed me. He is only 5, and I know things will shift as Joanne has warned in the book. Right now we have a graphic representation of our connection on our wrists. Later, in the crazy teenage years, we will need reminders to stay connected. When he treats me with contempt. When it is hard to communicate. When he locks himself in his room filming 'as if he's Speilberg or something'.

    This book has given me a heads up on what to expect in the years to come, and I recommend it for parents of children who are not yet teenagers, as much as I do for those in the thick of it.

     
    5.0

    Love in the time of Contempt

    By 

    from Sydney

    About Me Bookworm

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Easy To Read
    • Engaging characters
    • Informative

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Self help

      Comments about Love in the Time of Contempt:

      What a wonderful opportunity to be one of the first to read Joanne Fedler's "Love in the time of Contempt". Joanne fulfils the readers' expectations of personalised humour and raw honesty in her latest book, Love in the Time of Contempt. Joanne amiably prepares one who is yet to encounter the teenage years and seems to raise the spirits of those who are already in the know.
      When talking about "how the game has changed", she tugs at the heart strings of anyone who knows the ins and outs of being a parent, and encourages great reflection of one's own life. I was made to look deep within to recognise where I feel content and what choices need to be made to ensure that my parenting role includes some time to fulfil my dreams and aspirations.
      Throughout the book, I laughed out loud so many times at the truth of it all, while feeling a sense of compassion for those who miss the affectionate, more intimate younger years with their children. My heart felt sore for the moments in the lives of these teenagers when they were alone and afraid, and yet felt they could not tell their parents. Joanne's inspirational advice on understanding the needs of teenagers is imperative. She encourages parents to let go of our own egos and continue to let our children know that we love them and are there for them. As a social worker counselling adolescents, I have seen how alone and hopeless they can feel, and Joanne seems to get to grips with the essential yet challenging need of the adolescent child – balancing their respect for privacy with the clear cut message that they are never alone and that this too shall pass.
      Her book is current, techno savvy and reachable. Thank you Joanne for encouraging other parents to delve deeply into our hearts to consider all aspects of raising teenagers, thank you for encouraging self awareness, and thank you for sharing so openly of your lives, in turn helping so many others to open up ourselves.

       
      5.0

      A book for parents of teenagers

      By 

      from Melbourne

      About Me Everyday Reader

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Easy To Read
      • Engaging characters
      • Informative
      • Page-Turner
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Travel Reading

        Comments about Love in the Time of Contempt:

        It's an easy to read honest heartwarming and fascinating account of living with and trying to parent teenagers.

         
        5.0

        Brilliant, profound and relevant

        By 

        from Johannesburg, South Africa

        About Me Bookworm

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Easy To Read
        • Engaging characters
        • Informative
        • Page-Turner
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift
          • Older Readers
          • Reference

          Comments about Love in the Time of Contempt:

          When we fall pregnant there is an entire section in most bookshops on raising babies into happy children and staying sane in the process. For most of us this advice is diligently followed and suddenly they're potty trained and before we know it, we're learning how to tame our toddler, and then somewhere in between then and us going grey, they grow up. Before we know it they have hair under their arms, and heaven knows where else, pimples and periods and all those things that we can remember happening to us not that long ago.

          And for the first time in our lives we feel a little bit out of control because laying down the law now is not as simple as it was when they were shorter than we were.

          There may not be an entire section of books in those same bookshops featuring best selling Teenage Parenting 101 books. There is no manual that parents of teenagers can stand in line for so that they can glide through these tumultuous years unscathed. It is for this reason that Love in the Time of Contempt deserves a very special place at the front of every bookshop. Besides being pregnant with hundreds of pearls of wisdown, this book is a brilliantly written and hilariously reflective account of the teenage years (from the parent's perspective), offering solace to those of us who are either about to go through it, in the midst of it, or licking our wounds on the other side.

          Joanne's story reminds us that we are not alone; teenagers are taking over our homes and if we don't know what they want or what they're up to, we are in big trouble. There are things going on out there in the world that our teenagers are being exposed to that will shock you to the core. Being forewarned, as they say, is being forearmed.

          Reading this book was like comparing parenting notes with Joanne over a glass of wine. I am one of those parents who has just been through the teenage years with my oldest son who is now 18.5, and I can sense that it's all starting up again with my 14.5 year old son. Being a young parent I didn't think that getting my boys through their teenage years would be too difficult because I could remember what it was like to be a teenager myself.

          When their father was killed in a car accident 7 years ago their worlds fell apart. Despite counseling and everything else that goes with it, my oldest son decided in his grade 11 year to experiment with weed - and copious amounts of it. Our lives were turned upside down and it felt as if our home had been invaded by an alien. When it all came out I discovered that although there was a measure of teenage curiosity and confusion thrown into the mix, he was using the drug to escape from the pain of losing his dad so soon; he had no other resource to dull the ache in his heart.

          Teenagers hide so much under those thick outer skins. They pretend they're invincible when in fact they are super-sensitive to everything.

          What Joanne suggests is that we need to learn to parent our teenagers from a safe distance. There is no need to write them off as they write us off; it's all part of them growing up. We don't need to be cool or to try to fit in with their friends. We just need to BE there, take the punches on the chin, and remember that as they pass through this tumultuous time in their lives that they still need us and in time will treasure us for always standing in the wings, even if it's only when they are 25.

          As my 14.5 year old starts his journey I feel, after reading Joanne's book, that I am armed with a secret weapon. When I dropped him off at school to go on his Grade 8 camp this morning I said to him "I'm sure you don't want me carrying all your bags over to where your friends are, so I'll kiss you goodbye here." He smiled, gave me a hug and a kiss and waltzed off, and I smiled to myself as all the other parents walked with their cringing children to the bus, completely unaware.

          We think we have all the answers when in truth we don't. And as long as we're prepared to accept that, this incredible, heartwarming, funny book will become a firm favourite on our parenting bookshelves.

           
          5.0

          A must read book

          By 

          from Melbourne, AU

          About Me Casual Reader

          Pros

          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Easy To Read
          • Engaging characters
          • Informative
          • Page-Turner
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Older Readers
            • Reference
            • Special Needs

            Comments about Love in the Time of Contempt:

            Joanne Fedler has written another masterpiece.

            'Love in the Time of Contempt' is about growing up teenagers, making sure the parent realises how much growing up he/she needs to do along the way. Before reading 'Love in the Time of Contempt', I wasn't sure how a non medical, non psychologist and non children's counsellor could adequately author such a book. However, my knowledge of the detail and research that Joanne dedicates to everything she embarks on, assured me that, as with her other books, 'Love in the Time of Contempt' would not disappoint.

            'Love in the Time of Contempt' is appropriately authoritative, humorously honest and verbalises what most of us are too afraid to admit to thinking about ourselves and our precious offspring.

            'Love in the Time of Contempt' is not just a book about parenting. Neither is it just an anecdotal account of Joanne's parenting experience. It is also about coming to terms with the reality of being the parent of an almost adult. It guides one through the challenges of letting go, allowing the teenager to become a whole individual, not just a means through which to try to live vicariously.

            As a medical practitioner, with knowledge about children on the autism spectrum, I wondered how much I would gain through reading 'Love in the Time of Contempt'. Yet again, I was in for a surprise. Although children with high functioning autism have a magnified array of difficult behaviours and a restricted range of 'normal' behaviours, as parents, we react in very similar ways, regardless of the diagnosis, or lack of it in our teenagers. So many of the scenarios Joanne describes are so similar to the experiences I have been through and I kept hearing myself say, "Wow. Your kids did that too?" "You said that too??"

            'Love in the Time of Contempt' reminds us about the developing prefrontal cortex and the importance of recognising the limitations of the under-developed and developing teenage brain. Joanne humorously gently, and sometimes not so gently, illustrates the best and worst ways to try to manage and steer our almost-adult children through the trials and tribulations of youth.

            Joanne clearly demonstrates that evolving through teenage-hood is a process parents have to progress through and learn from, and it is as much a learning experience for the enlightened, aware parent as for the young adult.

            'Love in the Time of Contempt' is not at all like any of the other parenting, medical and self-help books out there. It is a book that should be read by those with pre-teens to gain insight into managing oneself before attending to the teenager. It helps to normalise the feelings and reactions of both teens and their parents going through 'the change' and provides solace for those looking back on parenting teenagers.

            Joanne skillfully shares and reminds us to acknowledge that we need to live a life authentic to ourselves to earn credibility with our children and for the experience to sit well inside us.

            I have no hesitation in recommending Joanne Fedler's 'Love in the Time of Contempt' to all parents, would be parents, teachers and anyone else having the pleasure of dealing with teenagers.

             
            4.0

            Compelling, confronting & well-written

            By 

            from Sydney, AU

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Easy To Read
            • Informative
            • Page-Turner
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Love in the Time of Contempt:

                They say time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted, and it surely applies to parenthood too. Love in the Time of Contempt is a perfect addition to any parent's armament, whether your children are teenagers yet are not. Aged 2 and 4, my kids are far from teenage-hood. (Incidentally, I had to interrupt reading this book to wipe their bums at exactly the spot Fedler refers to the upside of leaving that joyous aspect of parenting behind.) Nevertheless, I found it hugely beneficial to read Fedler's book now.

                Love in the Time of Contempt offers good advice, perspective, instruction, and reflection. It's honest, funny, moving, and totally relatable and readable. Not everything Fedler writes sat well with me, but given that parenting teenagers will likely push me out of my comfort zone more (probably made harder by the fact that I was a very good teenager), rather Fedler's warm and supportive book do it first. Her overall approach and observations are useful and valuable. I strongly recommend it.

                Love in the Time of Contempt is compelling, confronting and beautifully written. If you are parent with adolescence still ahead of you, read it.

                 
                5.0

                Loved this book!

                By 

                from Los Angeles, CA

                Pros

                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                • Easy To Read
                • Engaging characters
                • Informative
                • Page-Turner
                • Remarkable
                • Well Written
                • Witty

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Love in the Time of Contempt:

                    Joanne Fedler has done it again! Love in the Time of Contempt is as beautifully written as it is authentic. Joanne's witty and conversational style draws one in and it is hard to put this book down. Between the tears and the laughing out loud, I am struck by Joanne's honesty, wisdom and tenderness and at her tremendous talents to put this all down on the page so beautifully. Joanne's book is an excellent resource to have close by as we attempt to best navigate these challenging times with our kids. We can all benefit from Joanne's insights and guidance at a time that "we scramble to stay in their worlds while they keep trying to nudge us out". I have loved being on this journey with Joanne as she lets us laugh, take deep breaths and know that this phase too shall pass. I highly recommend this outstanding book.

                     
                    5.0

                    must read for parents of teenagers

                    By 

                    from South Africa

                    About Me Bookworm

                    Pros

                    • Deserves Multiple Readings
                    • Easy To Read
                    • Informative

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Gift

                      Comments about Love in the Time of Contempt:

                      Love in the Time of Contempt had me in giggles and in tears. It was as if my best friend sat next to me and said 'I hear you', 'it will be all-right, 'you are doing your best' and 'this too shall pass'. It also made me look at myself and made me realised that I had to 'chill' and hear my non-talking teenagers. It helped me find my way back to be the best mother I can be for my boys. I had started to switch off in order to "survive".... The author says it is not a 'how to' book, but somehow by her sharing her experiences, her fears, her failures and her success, it has guided me. I know my relationship with my boys will survive the contempt. This book should be read by all parents of teenagers.

                       
                      5.0

                      Conscious Framework for Adults of Teens

                      By 

                      from Sydney, AU

                      About Me Everyday Reader

                      Pros

                      • Deserves Multiple Readings
                      • Informative
                      • Page-Turner
                      • Well Written

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Reference

                        Comments about Love in the Time of Contempt:

                        This book is an absolute gift to parents. Joanne's anecdotes, eclectic mix of wisdom and intelligent wit, empathy and raw humility in sharing her own situations is a game-changer in the way to connect with today's teen.
                        Joanne's storytelling is beautiful, showing how to connect deeply with young humans and allow kids their space, their privacy, and acceptance of their flavour of normal. Our children's teen years don't last forever but do have a lasting effect, either positively or negatively, so I applaud Joanne for the framework she provides, so we can celebrate their uniqueness and embrace the crazy!

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                        ISBN: 9781742707303
                        ISBN-10: 1742707300
                        Audience: General
                        Format: Paperback
                        Language: English
                        Number Of Pages: 272
                        Published: 1st February 2015
                        Publisher: Hardie Grant Books
                        Country of Publication: AU
                        Dimensions (cm): 15.6 x 23.2  x 1.9
                        Weight (kg): 0.35
                        Edition Number: 1