Practical advice on raising well-adjusted girls.
Today’s girls, Simmons (Leadership Development Specialist/Smith Coll.; The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence, 2009, etc.) writes, are “glass ceiling-busting, selfie-taking world changers.” However, as she notes, these same girls have higher levels of anxiety and self-criticism than any of their predecessors thanks to the numerous roles girls must play. They have the chance to be as successful and ambitious as their male peers yet must also be “physically fit, pretty and sexy, socially active, athletic, and kind and liked by everyone.” Depression and angst in young women are on the rise, a tide Simmons hopes to stop with her levelheaded and useful tips for parents. The author analyzes the way society and social media have created more tension for girls as they try to be everything for everyone, and she offers methods for diffusing tough situations. Simmons also addresses body imagery and body fat, the need to look as if you have a perfect life on social media, the objectification of women, handling disappointments and failures, and the drive to be highly athletic and involved in multiple extracurricular activities. Like most experts, she stresses the importance of unplugging, looking inward to find answers, using self-compassion, and setting realistic and obtainable goals in order to make changes. Though her solutions aren’t groundbreaking, the author’s accessible tone makes this a helpful tool for parents who need advice and want to help their girls become well-rounded women. The culture won’t change until we properly discuss the many issues that create anxiety, depression, and pressure in girls; Simmons begins the conversation for parents, and it’s up to them to continue it.
Concrete, straightforward advice on helping girls move beyond the anxiety, depression, and angst that plague so many as they strive toward adulthood.