Excerpt: How to help your teen be a (functioning) person

By Catherine Newman

We absolutely adore Catherine Newman’s writing. Witty, sharp, often poignant, always insightful, her dispatches from the trenches of motherhood have kept us sane—and entertained—for years. Now she has turned her attention to helping our kids become functioning adults by offering 65 hugely useful, super-important skills to learn before they’re grown up—from cheering up sick people to hand-washing dishes to patching jeans. “One thing we know,” Newman writes, “is asking, ‘What can I do to help?’ is a sure way to be your best self.” My own four kids couldn’t walk past this book on our kitchen table without flicking through. Here are the tasks that struck a chord with each of them.

“The truth is that it feels good to do meaningful things, and it feels good to be appreciated, and these skills pretty much guarantee a combination of those two good feelings.”34-HowToBeAPerson copy35-HowToBeAPerson copy42_HowToBeAPerson copy43_HowToBeAPerson copy

“A lot of the tasks we tend to think of as chores can be truly rewarding—especially if you have a chance to step toward them with confidence rather than being backed into them by that bulldozer of nagging otherwise knows as mom or dad.”64_HowToBeAPerson copy

96_HowToBeAPerson copy97_HowToBeAPerson copyExcerpted from How to Be a Person (c) by Catherine Newman, illustrations (c) by Debbie Fong, used with permission from Storey Publishing. You can read more of Catherine Newman’s writing on Motherwell here

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