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Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters [Paperback]

Joann Deak , Teresa Barker
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 20 2003
Now available in paperback is a bold, fresh, and timely work that "offers parents humor, understanding, parenting philosophy, and well-founded pearls of wisdom." --Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D., coauthor of Raising Cain

Mary Pipher told us about the problems girls face in Reviving Ophelia; now in Girls Will Be Girls, JoAnn Deak gives us the solutions. Deak looks past the "scare" stories to those that enlighten parents and enable them to empower girls. She draws from the latest brain research on girls to illustrate the exciting new ways in which we can help our daughters learn and thrive. Most telling of all, she gives us the voices of girls themselves as they struggle with body image, self-esteem, intellectual growth, peer pressure, and media messages. The result is a masterly book that addresses the key issues for girls growing up; one that fulfills a desperate need for clear guiding principles to help mothers, fathers, and their daughters navigate this chaotic contemporary culture.

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Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters + Raise Your Kids Without Raising Your Voice + How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Deak, a speaker, school psychologist and educator, offers a practical and reassuring guide for parents of daughters. The introduction explains why the message of this book is so important: "Girls face an extraordinary challenge in our changing world. They are dealing with more sophisticated issues than ever before, and they are doing so with less adult contact and guidance than ever before. Statistics tell the story of a population at risk both physically and emotionally: one in four girls shows signs of depression. Compared to males, twice as many females attempt suicide...." As any parent of an adolescent or teen daughter knows, even the most straightforward conversation can quickly deteriorate into an argument, tears and frustration on both sides. Deak offers a variety of scenarios along with suggestions for improving the communication: for example, when one girl immediately says she hates her school and the family must move, the parents are sympathetic and schedule visits to some other schools. Within a few weeks, the student has adjusted to the school and in fact chooses to stay there. The approach of "Listening and acting as a sounding board can always be part of the equation...." Deak discusses the differences between fathers and daughters and mothers and daughters and also some of the more common problems faced by teens, such as body image and peer pressure. While there are no instant fixes in these often trying times, this book provides an intelligent and reasonable plan that many parents will want to consider.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

These two titles strengthen the burgeoning girl-rearing genre. A psychologist and speaker on gender equity, Deak aims to give answers to the problems raised in Mary Pipher's classic Reviving Ophelia. Quite a claim but she does it. To handle struggles with body image, self-esteem, intellectual growth, peer pressure, and media messages, Deak offers a strong framework that includes concepts like Crucible Events (defining life episodes) and the Strudel Theory (building a life with layers). That latter concept comes into play with Deak's objection to the theme of Laura Stepp's recent Our Last Best Shot: that is, if parents lose touch with their daughter during adolescence, their relationship is over. Many levels of experience make our daughters who they are; parents are never done connecting with their daughters, says Deak. Furthermore, girls need to be connected to other girls, which can, in turn, conflict with their need to compete, succeed, and find happiness. Finally, Deak deals with the newest issues of girls as manipulators/pleasers. Hers is a thoughtful philosophy based on years of counseling, research, and experience. Kelly, executive director of the national advocacy group Dads and Daughters, shares his perspective on raising girls (he is the father of twins). Although initially he goes a little overboard with his claims of a father's impact on daughters, he ultimately delivers an effective message: fathers can take an active role in raising confident daughters. As Deak also points out in her book, however, dads may have a harder time with daughters than mothers have raising sons. The teen years are especially trying for dads because of sexual issues, and Kelly expertly shows readers how to deal with them. Rather than stamp out girls' libidos, he argues, parents must help daughters recognize them. In an age of boundaries and abuse, he delineates the differences between nourishing touch and physical abuse. Live-away dads are not forgotten either. He's also open to homosexuality and tries to teach daughters new ways of coping (e.g., allowing his daughters a checking account at age 12). Michael Gurian's The Wonder of Girls describes more fully the role of intimacy, biology, and brain chemistry in girls' lives; Kelly just wants dads to know how very influential they are. Both Girls and Dads are highly recommended for public libraries. Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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My friend Clara calls me every now and then with one of her "bad mother" confession stories. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally--Sensible Advice in Readable Form! Aug. 4 2002
Format:Hardcover
Those of us who are parents/relatives, educators, or mentors of girls have become increasingly aware of the difficulties that young women face as they mature from the stage of irrepressible confidence to the insecurities of adolescence and young adulthood. And while girls do walk a constant balance beam, tilting back and forth between doing and being too much or too little, the adults in their lives are right there behind them--wondering whether they should under-react or over-react. But one thing is certain--they are reacting, often out of panic or the need to control the uncontrollable!
JoAnn Deak is there on the balance beam with us all. Thanks to her experience in schools and expertise as a counselor, she presents comprehensible insights regarding physical and psychological issues, along with memorable anecdotes and solid advice to help us approach the complexities rationally. When we have finished reading, we know more about the girls and how best to support them. And we also understand more about ourselves.
I've been waiting for such a book for a long time!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Buy April 4 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having attended a seminar by the author I can say that her presentation of the research and the facts is outstanding. It was as a result of hearing her speak that I purchased the book. It is well worth it. It increases knowledge and thus enhances understanding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, a authoritative reference July 31 2002
Format:Hardcover
Enlightening, provocative and powerful, this is perhaps the most useful book on raising daughters that I have ever read. In the book Deak covers the problems, confusion, motivations and fears that are all a normal part of growing up female. But more than just noting that they exist and their basis, she also provides practical advice on how to deal with the problems in a proactive and productive manner.
The book follows the expected logical pattern of moving from the basics of perspective through the normal growing up process. First are the formative years, then preadolescent, then adolescent years. Of special interest, she includes chapters on the special relationship between daughters and their mother as well as one on the relationship between daughters and their father and one of dealing with the normal fears and worries of being parents. Each chapter has comments from girls at that age or referring to the subject of the chapter as well as the defining or "crucible" events that occur during that age or relationship.
If there were one book that I would recommend to anyone raising a girl in today's world, this would be the one that I would recommend. It stands like a lighthouse warning parents of dangerous shoals and how to avoid them as well as offering guidance on how to help their daughters negotiate dangerous waters and come out safe. This book truly lives up to the title and empowers parents with the tools to mold young girls into confident, courageous and well-adjusted adult women.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Every mom with a daughter should read this Oct. 31 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book, lots of great information. This world is harder on girls than ever before in so many different ways. It's nice to have a little help with that.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Girls will be Girls was recommended to me by my twelve and a half year old daughter's advisor from her all-girls school. My husband and I both read it and found it thoroughly helpful. We have two children, our neurotypical daughter (for those of you who are not in the autism community, that means "not autistic") and our 9 year old son who is on the autism spectrum. Up until this year, our daughter was always the easy child while our son, well, that's another story ..., but this year, our son has really come along now that he is going to an awesome school for kids on the autism spectrum, while our daughter ... well, let's just say that I often wait for her head to spin around! The hormones, the mood swings ... omg! But seriously, Dr. Deeks really understands girls and their developmental stages, and her book really helped my husband and I develop a parenting style that is really helped us deal more effectively with our daughter. First comes understanding ... understanding why she is acting so irrationally ... it is really not about the paint colour that I chose for her room ... it's really about her having control of her own destiny and making her own choices. Once we understand the developmental phase and her needs, it is much easier to parent appropriately ... and with our new approach, we are seeing the 22 year old more than the 2 year old. Dr. Deeks's book was also very interesting as my husband and I both picked up on the issue with me and my own mother in the chapter on enmeshment and daughters who end up being "pleasers". It was really shocking to see such an accurate depiction of myself and why conflict-avoidance behaviour had to go. I also really liked the way Dr. Deeks gives suggestions at the end of each chapter. This one is a keeper and one I will surely review every so often ...
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