Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman
where it came from: I bought it at the thrift store long before I needed it. Once my daughter started 8th grade I read about a third of it then I saw my husband had bought it on audible so I started it all over and listened to the whole thing
I have a thirteen year old daughter.
I said it.
Parenting said daughter is one of the most challenging things I have ever had to do and at this point in my life, that's saying something :) It's also one of the most rewarding because when we have a breakthrough or a tender moment, I appreciate it like I have never appreciated anything else!
This book is like a travelguide into the world of parenting teen girls - we learn to navigate cliques and parties, harassment and dishonesty, mean girls and teaching responsibiliy. What I like about her style is that she made me feel like there were things I could do to make a difference in my daughter's life and gave very specific examples, sometimes role plays even, to help me know how I can handle particularly tough parenting moments. She empowered me to take a stand when it matters and to let things go when they don't. Truly, the part in particular about picking battles really helped me to readjust my thinking into a more flexible and compromising state and it helped my relationship with my daughter immensely. She taught me about what "girl world" is like and how hard it is for her to make a place for herself while still staying to true to the person she is and wants to be.
I liked how she made us "check our baggage" - pay attention to how our own experiences and values may be clouding how we react to our daughters and their choices. I also liked all the quotes she gave from girls she has worked with - it certainly gives you a different perspective. There is a big section at the end about intimacy and rape and how to help your daughter make safe choices or how to handle it when things go very wrong.
What I missed, and what I just read has been covered in an updated version of the book, is the influence of technology on Girl World - texting, social media, how to help your daughter to make wise technology decisions and how to handle cyber bullying. I probably will honestly check out this new version from the library because I really do like her honesty and straightforward style.
A piece of advice - I honestly wouldn't try reading this until you begin to sense that the "teenager switch" has flipped on your daughter, or at least wait until middle school to read it. Otherwise, it will scare your pants off :)
note: if you're interested in the content of the books I read, please go to http://ratedreads.com