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Friday, August 10, 2018

Raising Girls - Steve Biddulph

Grounded with his degree in psychology and his experience as a guidance officer, Biddulph has been writing books on raising children since 1984, starting with The Secret of Happy Children. Like his book Raising Boys, Raising Girls focuses specifically on the challenges of that particular sex.

Part One discusses what he sees as the Five Stages of Girlhood: Birth to Two, Two to Five, Five to Ten, Ten to Fourteen, and Fourteen to Eighteen. Importantly, Biddulph notes that due to a girl's psychological and physical development, theses stages may vary from girl to girl. He does not only speak of these stages in abstract ways; he writes of specific examples and how parents can help their girls and young women navigate complicated situations, like how to handle arguments with friends and situations with significant others from a parenting role.

Part Two Hazardous topics and how to handle them. These
topics include: sexuality, meanness, body image, drugs, and use of the internet. Each of these chapters contains the newest information available concerning each topic and how to handle it. I noted that the chapter on sexuality included information for girls who are lesbians, which is often missing in such parenting books.

Part Three contains only two chapters, one for the relationship between a daughter and her mother and a daughter and her father.

When I read books aimed at raising girls and young women, I often find they are filled with stereotypes, but this one does not. I felt strongly that Biddulph addresses specific challenges girls face without falling into this trap. This book is filled with fantastic information that will help parents address current and future dilemmas. Biddulph puts emphasis on supporting girls and young women in a way that allows them to make good decisions and solutions for themselves. Although I've seen this same information in many books, I think the way it's presented is what makes this one my favorite.

More by the Author:
Raising Boys
10 Things Girls Need Most
The Secret of Happy Children

Recommended Reads:
NurtureShock - Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen - Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish

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