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The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence Paperback – August 31, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
In this volume for parents of middle-school daughters, the author of Odd Girl Out observes that girls today still pressure themselves to conform to the old, narrow paradigm of a nice, people-pleasing, rule-following, even-tempered, socially acceptable good girl, shunning the image of a rebellious, proud, socially outré, in-charge, outspoken bad girl. To dispel the curse of the good girl, and despite using those familiar, easily misconstrued labels as a touchstone, Girls Leadership Institute founder Simmons offers instructive tales out of school and workshops, revealing that flawed communication rituals and fear of confrontation contribute equally to a girl's belief that it is more important to be liked than to be an individual. In order to become a successful, well-adjusted real girl, she needs to know how to say no to peers, ask for what she needs and express what she thinks. In the second half of this book, parents will find concrete strategies and tools—confidence-building exercises that emphasize emotional intelligence, self-evaluations, q&a's, scripts and lots of first-person stories—to help guide a girl's growth into a young woman who can respect and listen to her inner voice, say what she feels and thinks, embrace her limits and present an authentic self to the world. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“An invaluable guide to girls and those who want to help them.”—Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia
“Every mother who wants to raise an authentic, courageous girl will be grateful for the clear-headed guidance that Ms. Simmons provides. When parents ask me for a great book about girl psychology, I am going to recommend The Curse of the Good Girl.”—Michael Thompson, Ph.D., coauthor of Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
“If you are a parent or an educator and want to know what stops girls from reaching their full potential and what you can do to make sure she does, please read The Curse of the Good Girl. My deepest hope is that girls realize the importance of what Rachel is saying to them and incorporate it into all of their relationships.” —Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees
“Simmons is at her best when she helps girls understand that until they know and risk what they really feel and think, they cannot be true leaders.”—Lyn Mikel Brown, author of Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketer’s Schemes
“Simmons' trenchant cultural critique becomes an essential primer for raising and nurturing healthy resilient girls. An indispensible read for parents, educators—indeed, anyone who cares about young girls!.”—Michael Kimmel, Professor of Sociology, SUNY Stony Brook author of Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men
“Rachel Simmons has perceptively laid out the current state of teenage girls in American society. As exciting as their futures can be, some of the same challenges that have held back women's success are still to be found in this newest generation of young achievers. The question is: who will reverse the trend permanently so young women can not only aspire to the same goals as their male counterparts, but will not get shut down along the way by either girls or boys.”—Cathie Black, President of Hearst Magazines and author of Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life)
“An amazing array of clear practical strategies for all adults dedicated to raising savvy assertive girls. A must read—again and again—for everyone who cares about girls.” —Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of The Big Disconnect
“If you care about girls, you will want them to be influenced by the ideas and practices in this outstanding book.” —Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University and author, Emotionally Intelligent Parenting
Top customer reviews
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The author has no FAINT idea what she is talking about. It's completely and totally backwards: the classy, modesty, intelligent, even-tempered girls who refuse to conform and break rules because everyone else says they hsould are the ones who get "shunned" by the arrogant, "rebellious", catty, insecure, vain, bad girl. Don't believe a word of that if you've got an ounce of sense in you. It's always been this way and always will be.
The book is an exploration of the complicated messages girls are receiving from society, from their families, from their teachers and from their friends. To be a "good girl", we must honor others' feelings before our own, diminish our grievances to avoid conflicts, avoid confrontation so as not to seem mean spirited, and thus promote dishonesty with each other and with ourselves.
This of course, leads to a suffocating mix of avoidance and frustration in personal relationships, as well as in professional spheres. How many of us have trembled at the idea of saying "That's not right/fair" or "I'm worth more than that" at work? I know I have. Or in relationships, how many of us cry unabashedly at the first sign of a disagreement, thus negating any rationale resolution or productive further discussion?
This author works with girls in leadership workshops that help young women develop their voice and learn ways to communicate that voice more effectively. They learn to develop healthy egos that allow for open communication of their needs/desires/opinions/feelings within all relationships.
What an extraordinary concept! That our families of origin, even those who were nuturing, were also leading us to some pretty toxic behavior. This prevents us from having the confidence and courage to discover who we are and what we want out of life. It does not admonish rule following- instead it offers suggestions for learning to deal with the natural disappointments of life and for finding our own way rather than following only what society proffers.
The practical discussion in the book could most aptly be used by a mother, but I found the discussion to be worthy of self reflection. How many of us, before we raise a girl, need to raise the girl within that may be stagnating in some of these repressive thought patterns?
The exercises in the second part of the book are spot on, and I wish every mother in America would read the chapter directed to mothers.
Now I'm 7 months pregnant with a girl, and my husband is reading this book. I think it will be a big help in how we approach raising our daughter.
Most recent customer reviews
Well, actually I would. These are the very values that are LACKING in our society