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But Why?: How to answer tricky questions from kids and have an honest conversation with yourself

Clemmie Telford

5 Reviews

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Advice on parenting

From the content-creator behind the 'Mother of All Lists' blog and the 'Honestly' and But Why?' podcasts comes a debut book about communicating openly and honestly with the next generation, on all manner of challenging subjects.

But Why? aims to help you tackle those awkward questions that can floor the best of us. Imagine the scene: you're trying to put the kids to bed, your brain has checked out for the day and suddenly, from nowhere, all manner of unrelated, but potentially important, questions are flung into the night-time routine as you're trying to get them to brush their teeth properly:

* But why are humans ruining the planet?
* But why don't boys wear dresses?
* But why do people get married?
* But why do we have feelings?
* But why can't I look like everyone else?
* But why do you have to work?

With a foreword by leading psychotherapist Anna Mathur (author of Mind Over Mother) this book is informed by a huge, varied body of research. Including conversations with experts via Clemmie's popular 'Honestly' podcast, the insight of 300-plus contributors to her blog 'Mother of All Lists', bravely sharing first-hand accounts, and, of course, Clemmie's own experience as a mother of three.

It can't promise definitive answers, but it will give you a wealth of ideas to draw upon, along with tips on how to explore the topics mindfully, pointers on where to seek more information and, perhaps most importantly, a reminder of what you absolutely should avoid saying to your kids even if you're knackered or have been caught off-guard.

Clemmie describes this book as an 'existential crisis' which found her challenging everything she thought she knew about everything (but in a good way). 'I hope the book will act as a catalyst for our own thoughts on a range of subjects, giving us the opportunity to have honest conversations with ourselves about important topics such as race, gender, sexuality, politics and religion.'

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Praise for But Why?: How to answer tricky questions from kids and have an honest conversation with yourself

  • The way Clemmie pulls together people and knowledge and then delivers her findings in such an accessible way is quite the talent! A thoroughly informative and enjoyable read. I learnt LOADS!

  • A bloody brilliant book. Clemmie is a very clever, very sensitive, very thoughtful woman who has put all of her brilliance into But Why? It's what we've been waiting for. Back of the net!

  • When faced with the endless 'But whys?' look no further than this brilliant and essential parenting compendium. It is laugh-out-loud AND educational. We are grabbing for it from the toilet, to the dinner table and all places in between, when cornered without an answer. - Laura and Russell Brand

  • Relatable and reassuring, 'But Why?' is a wonderfully comprehensive guidebook written with humour and sensitivity. - The School of Life

  • The constant questions that parents face can be hard going when kids are tiny tots - but it gets even harder as they get older. This book will help you answer some of the trickiest. - The Sun

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Clemmie Telford

Clemmie Telford is a mother of three and content creator behind the 'Mother of all Lists' blog and the Honestly and But Why? podcasts. She spent the first thirteen years of her career as a Creative Director and Copywriter in top ad agencies and, most recently, at Facebook's Creative Shop. Her foray into social media began as a form of therapy whilst on maternity leave. Since then she has set about using her platforms to enable conversations about subjects that some might deem awkward or uncomfortable. Clemmie lives in Peckham, south-east London. She likes food, fitness and fashion and (ideally) not staying up too late.

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