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The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence Paperback – Illustrated, August 31, 2010
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“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
About the Author
- Item Weight : 8.6 ounces
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 014311798X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0143117988
- Publisher : Penguin Books; Illustrated Edition (August 31, 2010)
- Product Dimensions : 5.48 x 0.58 x 8.42 inches
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #124,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As I read the book, my biggest takeaways were this:
1. Sure, you can address girl behavior one-on-one, but if the other girls around her aren't learning the same things, it's all sort of pointless in terms of mitigating girl conflict. People have to know these rules/principles/ideas for any one person to be successful in using them. We still don't have a common language or framework around conflict and interpersonal issues among girls, but we have a plethora of sexism and dysfunctional women raising girls who only know how to be mean. So I think the book has useful ideas, but good luck making a difference.
If your kid is the one who has it all figured out...they'll tear her down anyway. if your kid is trapped in the behavior described in this book...they'll tear her down too. Everyone's fodder for mean girls. No one escapes ime. You cannot win. The book doesn't really address this imo.
2. As I read, I realized so many, so so sooooooooo many moms act like tweens in large groups. No wonder I hate most moms. I can't take the group dynamics...the gossip, the backstabbing, the use of piling on to grab power. Too many adults are frozen in tween conflict patterns...they never learned better, and just my luck, they always run the PTA and carline...I cannot get away from them. Like, yo, I just want to decorate for the Halloween party, but noooo, we have to gossip and undermine everyone like crabs in a bucket instead (this is my life with school aged kids...over and over and over again. You could set a clock by it.). Even if the book doesn't make this connection, it helped me to, and actually I will now be working to focus my time and attention on things where I'm not running afoul of moms in the wild. I'm out and now I know WHY. Cool. I have other things to do.
3. My daughter and I don't argue as presented in the book. I didn't realize that may be unusual and was kind of surprised, but it renders large swatch of advice kind of moot. There were also examples of things I would consider emotional abuse between parent and child, which also didn't seem too relevant. It was hard to relate to some of this as a result. We seem to be in a different place.
4. There's no real discussion of how to defuse a bully. There's discussion of conflict but not what to do when the bully is whipping her proxies into a frenzy so they are lining up to kick your you-know-what. How do you defuse that stuff once it's gotten that far? Going to the 'authorities' doesn't work. I'm not sure this book has any answers.
5. I liked a lot of the conflict resolution stuff, the discussion of validating your daughter's feelings...there IS useful information, it's jut not necessarily able to turn the tide when only one person knows any of it.
While I'll reference this book as I parent my tween and I recommend it overall, it feels rather futile. What's the point of a girl being better when actually doing better relies on everyone being better in the same way? And most of the moms are just looking to cut a b?
I just don't think this book is enough to turn the tide. The author would likely have more impact developing social emotional curriculum for schools AND the moms who still handle relationships like tweens. Or perhaps a video class... a MOOC or something. This needs to be large scale if it's going to make an impact.
Yes, all kids should be taught manners and how to properly behave around adults. But we are not taking into effect how girls and women are treated in the outside world. Sometimes it's okay to not be a nice girl. Girls that are too nice often find themselves in compromising situations that they don't know how to address because their parents haven't taught them that it's okay to sometimes be a jerk. I need these girls to find their voice. Because of this current situation, I think this book is a must-read for parents who have daughters. It's not just about the girls, it's also about the parent's insecurities and how it affects their daughters. My GS's have eating disorders, anxieties, helicopter parenting. I really want to buy this book for those girl's parents. But it may be too late. We need implosion therapy. I'm at a loss. If anyone has any ideas, please leave me a comment.
Top reviews from other countries
I also kinda got the sense that the book was kinda promoting the "chill girl" ideal that's nowadays so widespread and has no other aim but making their male partners lives easier. I bought this book because I wanted some insights on how to perpetuate the importance of authenticity and realness to a young one with actions instead of words, how to teach a "Good Girl" that she can still be and feel free when she is loved ? That having an allergy to commitment and feeling trapped is not a label for "bad" but an emotion as any ? Our generation has been lied to about freedom and I feel like nothing has changed for the generations to be. What I got from the book is really light, I feel like it missed out on the core values of authenticity, self-respect and truthfulness to oneself.