Mother, know thyself--especially mothers of daughters, for as Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D., and Peg Streep so eloquently convey in Girl in the Mirror
, self-aware mothers stand a much greater chance of helping their daughters become happier, more fulfilled women. But there's a catch: oftentimes, a girl's volatile journey through puberty occurs during her mother's midlife--another physically and emotionally challenging stage of womanhood. Fusing an impressive array of research findings, expert interviews, quotations from classic texts on teens, and journal entries from regular moms (and a few dads), Snyderman and Streep clear a safe path through the brambles and muck commonly associated with "surviving" adolescence.
Optimism, encouragement, and empathy fill every page of this thoughtfully compiled text. Whether they're unraveling a deceptively complex topic such as girls' friendships (from childhood "best friends" to teenage sexual partners), or reporting hard data on tough issues (chronic disorders, drug abuse, violence), Snyderman and Streep never buy in to "inevitable" scenarios. Rather, they offer practical methods to help mothers nurture a pattern of appropriate openness, trust, and respect with their maturing daughters. Excellent tools for assessing one's current perceptions, handling tough situations, and gracefully managing change add further substance to this marvelous resource. --Liane Thomas
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From Publishers Weekly
After collaborating on Necessary Journeys: Letting Ourselves Learn from Life, Snyderman, a medical correspondent for ABC News and PBS, and writer Streep kept in touch, and their conversations about nearing menopause while their daughters careen toward their teens evolved into this book. If at times the tone is overly academic this could be the only parenting guide to adapt Martin Buber's "I-Thou" theory to child-rearing Snyderman's optimism about making adolescence a positive time for both mother and daughter is infectious. She cites scholarly journals, comments from friends, interviews with authors and popular books like Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth to set straight many of the myths surrounding adolescence. Instead of viewing the teen years as something to be survived, she prefers comparing them to the Chinese character that represents both "crisis" and "opportunity." Adolescence doesn't have to be a period of turmoil, she notes, drawing on a study that indicates that the vast majority of adolescents are no more likely than adults to succumb to mental illness. Throughout, Snyderman encourages mothers to put their own pasts behind them and communicate as much as possible about every aspect of their daughters' lives, including sex and relationships. She encourages parents not to buy into "wrongheaded notions" that daughters can raise themselves. "The rule of thumb is simple," she writes. "If you don't talk to her, she will get her information elsewhere. They need our help, our wisdom, our guidance, and, sometimes, our protection."
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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