Steve Biddulph is primarily known for his books on Raising Boys. Parents and teachers know the value of reading and listening to Steve because his practical and do- able examples are well explained. He has that gift of being able to simply state what needs to be done, and why. He refers to many experts along the way, never suggesting that his is the only way.
Steve has developed a growing concern about the development of girls. He feels that, “Somehow in the last twenty years, childhood and adolescence has changed. It’s lonelier, more pressured, and unkind.” Many counsellors, teachers and parents are aware that girls are unhappy and in pain. Indeed, we see in the news, and on TV, girls behaving badly, drinking heavily, using drugs and being sexually active. Times have changed and so must our thinking and actions. This is a book for both parents to use, either to read, or to peruse a specific topic or chapter.
There are many chances in this book to examine your own feelings and issues. There is an exercise that asks the parent to rate how their daughter is in areas such as, is she “Good with friends, Confident to explore, Loved and secure, and Trained for adulthood.” Then you are asked to discuss or rank these issues for you when you grew up. One or both parents can look at these steps and relate many of their own issues and feelings to these steps. With his positive nature, the author reminds us that it is always good if we are aware of gaps, because we can identify them, and act on them.
From the earliest times, the author suggests that we need to slow down our world and make time for love to grow. It is fascinating to read that puberty has a great effect on the brain for girls. “If you subtract twelve from your teenage daughter’s age, you will pinpoint what age she is going through a second time.” This is an amazing revelation and explains a lot about fourteen year old girls behaving similarly to the terrible two’s.
There are many ideas for Dads to relate to their daughters, and it is explained carefully how respect for their daughters’ wishes and needs will help girls to develop healthy relationships in later life. There are so many ways fathers can be involved in their daughters’ upbringing and the inclusion of all children in activities and housework is one. Chores from changing a tyre, to mowing the lawn, all have the potential to deepen a bond between a father and his children, making them feel worthwhile.
From your child’s early days to puberty and sexuality, Steve is matter of fact and down to earth. He lists things you need to discuss with your daughter, from practical information on her period, to asking about drugs in her school. Helping her to choose things to say when offered drugs, so she doesn’t lose face, is a huge and practical gift. Every parent of a daughter should be offered this book to read, because every parent will find some helpful tips, or lifesaving strategies