Selenis Leyva on Her 13-Year-Old Daughter: I Wish I Had a Guidebook, The Dos and Don’ts of a Teenager

05/18/2016 at 11:00 AM ET

Selenis Leyva knows being mom to a teenager doesn’t come with an instructional manual, but it doesn’t mean she can’t dream.

In the newest installment of PEOPLE’s Mom Talk series, the Orange Is the New Black star, 43, shares how difficult her daughter Alina‘s transition from child to teen has been for Leyva.

“One day she was 12, and she was [really affectionate] … and the next day she’s 13 and she’s slamming doors and getting really pissed off,” Leyva says. “She’s always moody, and I’m like, ‘What’s your problem?’ ”

Selenis Leyva Mom Talk

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Leyva adds that while she was prepared for labor pains to feel like she was “dying,” no one warned her about the struggles of parenting a teenager.

“No one told me,” she says. “I mean, I was not exactly the poster child at 13, but I’ve never been a mom to a teenager [before this] … it’s like one day you’re hip, and the next day she’s like, ‘Oh, God, you’re so embarrassing.’ ”

And while she understands that this is just a normal part of life, Leyva can’t stop herself from wishing she had just a little more guidance.

“I wish I had a guidebook, like … The Dos and Don’ts of a Teenager,” she tells the group.

“Maybe you can write that,” chimes in Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, 28-year-old mom to daughter Giovanna Marie, 19 months.

The women all laugh, while Leyva’s OITNB costar Alysia Reiner agrees wholeheartedly with Polizzi.

“Would you please write it?!” says Reiner, 45, who is mom to 7-year-old daughter Livia Charles.

“Let me get through this first year of teenhood,” Levya replies, “And then maybe I’ll [write], How I Survived the Teenage Years. ”

Jen Juneau


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HELP! on

While it’s true children are not born with an owner’s manual one big clue is you don’t need to share that the two of you share the same cycle.

Castilian on

this woman is U G L Y and annoying.