In 1999 Ophelia Speaks, Sara Shandler’s collection of writings by and about adolescent girls, became a bestseller. Two years later, Nina Shandler, Ed.D., psychologist by profession and Sara’s mother, invited mothers of adolescent girls from all over the country to talk back, giving them the chance, perhaps for the first time, to speak out about feelings too often considered taboo.
Culled from written submissions and interviews with hundreds of women from all walks of life and from every part of the country, the concerns voiced in Ophelia’s Mom reflect the universal experience of mothers facing one set of changes while their daughters are facing another. With humor, insight, rage, sadness, jealousy, pride, joy, and, ultimately, optimism, these mothers talk candidly about rejection and separation, feminism versus Girl Power, love and sex, friends, school, drugs and alcohol, divorce, menstruation and menopause, the mother-daughter bond, and much more.
As these mothers reveal how this life passage has reshaped them as well as their children, you’ll realize that you’re not crazy, and you’re certainly not alone in your frustration, confusion, and exhilaration over raising an adolescent daughter.
Nina Shandler, Ed.D, is a licensed psychologist and family therapist who has counseled women, children, and families in private practice, clinics, and schools and presented workshops and lectures to parents, couples, and teachers. Her articles on psychology have appeared in… More about Nina Shandler