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Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters Paperback – August 20, 2003

4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Deak, a speaker, school psychologist and educator, offers a practical and reassuring guide for parents of daughters. The introduction explains why the message of this book is so important: "Girls face an extraordinary challenge in our changing world. They are dealing with more sophisticated issues than ever before, and they are doing so with less adult contact and guidance than ever before. Statistics tell the story of a population at risk both physically and emotionally: one in four girls shows signs of depression. Compared to males, twice as many females attempt suicide...." As any parent of an adolescent or teen daughter knows, even the most straightforward conversation can quickly deteriorate into an argument, tears and frustration on both sides. Deak offers a variety of scenarios along with suggestions for improving the communication: for example, when one girl immediately says she hates her school and the family must move, the parents are sympathetic and schedule visits to some other schools. Within a few weeks, the student has adjusted to the school and in fact chooses to stay there. The approach of "Listening and acting as a sounding board can always be part of the equation...." Deak discusses the differences between fathers and daughters and mothers and daughters and also some of the more common problems faced by teens, such as body image and peer pressure. While there are no instant fixes in these often trying times, this book provides an intelligent and reasonable plan that many parents will want to consider.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

These two titles strengthen the burgeoning girl-rearing genre. A psychologist and speaker on gender equity, Deak aims to give answers to the problems raised in Mary Pipher's classic Reviving Ophelia. Quite a claim but she does it. To handle struggles with body image, self-esteem, intellectual growth, peer pressure, and media messages, Deak offers a strong framework that includes concepts like Crucible Events (defining life episodes) and the Strudel Theory (building a life with layers). That latter concept comes into play with Deak's objection to the theme of Laura Stepp's recent Our Last Best Shot: that is, if parents lose touch with their daughter during adolescence, their relationship is over. Many levels of experience make our daughters who they are; parents are never done connecting with their daughters, says Deak. Furthermore, girls need to be connected to other girls, which can, in turn, conflict with their need to compete, succeed, and find happiness. Finally, Deak deals with the newest issues of girls as manipulators/pleasers. Hers is a thoughtful philosophy based on years of counseling, research, and experience. Kelly, executive director of the national advocacy group Dads and Daughters, shares his perspective on raising girls (he is the father of twins). Although initially he goes a little overboard with his claims of a father's impact on daughters, he ultimately delivers an effective message: fathers can take an active role in raising confident daughters. As Deak also points out in her book, however, dads may have a harder time with daughters than mothers have raising sons. The teen years are especially trying for dads because of sexual issues, and Kelly expertly shows readers how to deal with them. Rather than stamp out girls' libidos, he argues, parents must help daughters recognize them. In an age of boundaries and abuse, he delineates the differences between nourishing touch and physical abuse. Live-away dads are not forgotten either. He's also open to homosexuality and tries to teach daughters new ways of coping (e.g., allowing his daughters a checking account at age 12). Michael Gurian's The Wonder of Girls describes more fully the role of intimacy, biology, and brain chemistry in girls' lives; Kelly just wants dads to know how very influential they are. Both Girls and Dads are highly recommended for public libraries. Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (August 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786886579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786886579
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Enlightening, provocative and powerful, this is perhaps the most useful book on raising daughters that I have ever read. In the book Deak covers the problems, confusion, motivations and fears that are all a normal part of growing up female. But more than just noting that they exist and their basis, she also provides practical advice on how to deal with the problems in a proactive and productive manner.
The book follows the expected logical pattern of moving from the basics of perspective through the normal growing up process. First are the formative years, then preadolescent, then adolescent years. Of special interest, she includes chapters on the special relationship between daughters and their mother as well as one on the relationship between daughters and their father and one of dealing with the normal fears and worries of being parents. Each chapter has comments from girls at that age or referring to the subject of the chapter as well as the defining or "crucible" events that occur during that age or relationship.
If there were one book that I would recommend to anyone raising a girl in today's world, this would be the one that I would recommend. It stands like a lighthouse warning parents of dangerous shoals and how to avoid them as well as offering guidance on how to help their daughters negotiate dangerous waters and come out safe. This book truly lives up to the title and empowers parents with the tools to mold young girls into confident, courageous and well-adjusted adult women.
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Format: Hardcover
Those of us who are parents/relatives, educators, or mentors of girls have become increasingly aware of the difficulties that young women face as they mature from the stage of irrepressible confidence to the insecurities of adolescence and young adulthood. And while girls do walk a constant balance beam, tilting back and forth between doing and being too much or too little, the adults in their lives are right there behind them--wondering whether they should under-react or over-react. But one thing is certain--they are reacting, often out of panic or the need to control the uncontrollable!
JoAnn Deak is there on the balance beam with us all. Thanks to her experience in schools and expertise as a counselor, she presents comprehensible insights regarding physical and psychological issues, along with memorable anecdotes and solid advice to help us approach the complexities rationally. When we have finished reading, we know more about the girls and how best to support them. And we also understand more about ourselves.
I've been waiting for such a book for a long time!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am simply bewildered at the rave reviews this book has received. Perhaps Dr. Deak is a better speaker than writer, but I have found little useful in this book, and (as a biologist) am frankly annoyed at her ignorance about hormones, dendrites, and even attachment theory. It's just a rambling string of stories from her own childhood and experience as a school counselor, without any original insight for handling my daughters. It also really bugs me how she under-rates girls' math and physics abilities, saying "girls tend to like arithmetic more than mathematics"--whatever that means. I'll confess I'm only halfway through, but don't think I can stomach any more of the stereotyping, pointless anecdotes, and obvious parenting tips.
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Format: Hardcover
I truly enjoyed this practical, funny, touching and true guide to parenting girls from a real expert. She really knows how to keep your attention with real stories and get her point across with humor and detail. We can all learn how to help our girls grow up to be the women we all wanted to be.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Girls Will be Girls is an excellent look at the struggles girls go through to reach adulthood, and how the adults in their lives can be there to help guide them through the murky times. What I loved about this book is that while it accurately portrayed the pain and difficulties of adolescence and tween years, Deak applauds girls' strength, courage, and ability to use their resources and friendships to find their way through. She gives solutions for helping to guide them through the difficulties that await them, yet Deak does not just dwell on the bad. She celebrates all that these ages have to offer. I found this book very relevant and helpful and have recommended it to many friends.
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A private school that serves economically disadvantaged adolescents required volunteers to read this book before engaging in a 6th and 7th grade girl's book club. The book does a great job explaining the scientific difference between the male and female brain. With that knowledge in hand, the author then advises the reader how to help girls thrive during the tough adolescent and teenage years. She gives specific examples of the challenges girls face and sound advice on how to help them make wise choices for themselves. I highly recommend the book to any parent or teacher.
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Not exactly what I expected. I was looking for something targeted to younger age (5-teens) to start with, and something with more practical advice on how to deal with certain stages and issues. This books deals with older gils and it is written in the language that is hard to read.
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