|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsLinksBook Reviews|100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian DrewA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAfterAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAmelia RulesAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsArtemis FowlAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond Diversity DayBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBill HensonBipolar DisordersBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoyBoysBrandedBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingCan't Eat, Won't EatCatalystChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinContentious IssuesCrackedCutDancing in My NuddypantsDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDoing ItDoing SchoolDying to Be ThinEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismElijah's CupEllison the ElephantEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEvery Girl Tells a StoryFast GirlsFeather BoyFiregirlForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillGeography ClubGeorgia Under WaterGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlsourceGirlWiseGLBTQGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGrowing Up GirlHandbook for BoysHealing ADDHeartbeatHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHollow KidsHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHug MeIntrusive ParentingIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalJake RileyJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKeeping the MoonKilling MonstersKim: Empty InsideKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLearning About School ViolenceLeo the Lightning BugLet Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLittle ChicagoLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogManicMastering Anger and AggressionMind FieldsMiss American PieMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MonsterMore Than a LabelMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNo Two AlikeNot Much Just Chillin'Odd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming School AnxietyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeriod PiecesPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellPretty in PunkPrincess in the SpotlightProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Psychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsRaising a Self-StarterRaising BlazeRaising Resilient ChildrenReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRineke DijkstraRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRunning on RitalinSay YesSexual Teens, Sexual MediaSexuality in AdolescenceShooterShort PeopleShould I Medicate My Child?Skin GameSmackSmashedStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStoner & SpazStop Arguing with Your KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrong, Smart, & BoldStudent DepressionSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeen Angst? NaaahThat SummerThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Arctic IncidentThe Bipolar ChildThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Eternity CubeThe Explosive ChildThe Field of the DogsThe First IdeaThe Identity TrapThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little TernThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Men They Will BecomeThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Nurture AssumptionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Other ParentThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Shared HeartThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Thought that CountsThe Unhappy ChildThe Vile VillageThe Whole ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreacherous LoveTrue BelieverTwistedUnhappy TeenagersWay to Be!We're Not MonstersWhat about the KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhere The Kissing Never StopsWhose America?Why Are You So Sad?WinnicottWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!You Hear MeYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
by Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D. and Peg Streep
Review by Marion Torchia on Jun 6th 2003
in the Mirror is addressed to mothers about to embark on the challenge of
raising adolescent daughters. It is
not, strictly speaking, a professional book.
Although one of the authors is a physician -- actually, a surgeon
specializing in otolaryngology -- she does not draw on her own professional
experience. Instead, she and her
colleague combine summaries of current literature on adolescent development
with reflections on their experiences, and those of friends and colleagues, as
daughters and as mothers. The result is
an optimistic, "you can do it" guide to "hands-on"
The book maintains a very valuable dual focus. Middle class mothers are typically going
through their own mid-life "changes" just as their daughters go
through adolescence. As their daughters
step into the prime of life, they face all the losses that go with age. Inevitably, tensions arise that must be
faced honestly. Any mother will react
to her daughter's emerging sexuality, and to her striking out for autonomy, at
least partly in terms of what these events say to her about her own past life
and future prospects.
On the other hand, the mother, as
the adult in the relationship, must be the responsible party, keeping her
emotional reactions in perspective in order to work for her daughter's
well-being. Self-reflection is in
The authors try to debunk or
re-frame what they see as distorted cultural myths. A "Good Mother," in their view, does not need to be a
cross between Mother Teresa and Martha Stewart; she is doing well if she enters
into an honest, flexible relationship with her daughter. Not all adolescents are prickly, rebellious,
or in turmoil, victimized by "raging hormones"--though it is
certainly true that adolescence is a time of radical change and a degree of
struggle. Peer influence is not uniformly
dangerous; mothers need to appreciate the value of their daughters'
The book takes positions in
opposition to several prevalent trends: an "age compression" that
forces children into adolescence earlier and earlier; an increased sexualization
of popular culture, and a feminine ideal that emphasizes bodily beauty at the
expense of other personal values. It
takes a stand straightforwardly in favor of close parental supervision and the
setting of limits. "Hands-on"
parenting includes knowing an adolescent's whereabouts; monitoring TV watching,
Internet use, and musical tastes; and establishing family rituals such as
On the other hand, the authors'
attitude is not entirely authoritarian.
They see the chief task of motherhood as engaging with one's daughter in
an extended dialogue, a real two-way exchange.
In this conversation, the mother's values and behavior will be open to
observation and criticism. However,
both parties will respect certain boundaries of privacy.
The book touches on an enormous
range of difficult topics, including divorce, step-parenting, adoption, sex
education and sexual orientation, and drug and alcohol use. Its extensive bibliography makes it a useful
starting point for an investigation of these issues.
The chapter on "Troubled
Waters" summarizes the standard scientific and public health literature on
such serious emotional problems as depression, anxiety disorder, social phobia,
obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders. It offers concrete advice, hope in the efficacy of treatment, and
compassion for the mother's suffering.
in the Mirror is an appealing book.
Its authors are strong in their opinions but not nasty, blaming, or
backward looking. They have succeeded
in conveying a unified vision of the crucial task of mothering an adolescent
daughter in today's world.
2003 Marion Torchia
Marion Torchia is a Washington DC-based writer and health care analyst.
She is particularly interested in the moral dimensions of our attitudes towards
health and behavioral health.