Exactly the opposite of what its title implies, Kids Suck is a forthright and humorous look at raising children in the 21st century. Started as a blog (ironically constructed by the author’s son) the musings in Kids Suck offer a real-world look at the rocky roller coaster ride that is the journey of today’s parent. The author relates stories about her own children, the children in her life and the students with whom she works at a small New England college, to bring to light the ups and downs and twists and turns that take place before the surefire collision of parents and children. Once upon a time the author believed in the genuineness of those cherubic images smiling out from the pages of Parent Magazine. Then, much to her dismay, she discovered that all those adorable little ones –got big. And worse. They turned into teenagers. Added to that seismic revelation was the insidiously seeping notion that her children might be the only ones off-kilter from the norms of her area world. Raising her kids in upper middle class suburbia, she seemed thoroughly surrounded by perfect parents, raising perfect children. Thus the blog. Her honest take on the feats and foibles of her own offspring and those around her garnered the attention of an ever-increasing group of parents and kids, alike. And she soon discovered that she actually was not alone. In Kids Suck, she relates real stories –about her family, her students and the other children in her life she has observed upon their rambling routes to adulthood. She takes a humorous approach when her son nearly getting expelled from school for blowing bubbles in math class, then opines somberly on those late night phone calls which every parent fears. The truth, of course, is that the author doesn’t really think that kids suck, at all. On the contrary, as evidenced by her impassioned writing, it is clear that she believes in the worth and potential of each and every child—and yes, even teenagers. However, she makes it equally clear that children seem hell-bent on a path designed to hasten the demise of their parents. They’re trying to kill us! Not through any intentionally malicious endeavor, but rather through the idiocy of their actions which results in a whole lot of heartache and some near-miss heart attacks for their too-concerned, hyper-involved parents. It is with a misery-loves-company mantra, then, that the author shares some stream-of-consciousness rantings in the pages of Kids Suck and gives voice to what most parents already know: that parenting is THE most difficult job in the world; that we often feel as if we doing it all wrong, and that no one told us it would be this hard.
Linda Emma is an author, educator and freelance writer with more than 20 years experience writing for newspapers, magazines, online sites and private clients.
She lives north of Boston with her husband and two children -the inspiration for Kids Suck.read more