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Things I Want My Daughters to Know: A Small Book About the Big Issues in Life Hardcover – October 5, 2004

3.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A wealth of advice. . .simple yet so poignant.” (Southern Women)

About the Author

Author of twenty-four books, Alexandra Stoddard is a sought-after speaker on the art of living. Through her lectures, articles, and books such as Living a Beautiful Life, Things I Want My Daughters to Know, Time Alive, Grace Notes, Open Your Eyes, and Feeling at Home, she has inspired millions to pursue more fulfilling lives. She lives with her husband in New York City and Stonington Village, Connecticut.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (October 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006059487X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060594879
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,163,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book because of the title. I have daughters. There are 'things' I want them to know. Upon reading the Foreword, I grew a little nervous. The tone seemed rather patronizing, and I felt like I was about to get a lesson in what a rotten mother I am. The author writes: "No mother can have a relationship with her children without some heartaches and significant differences of opinion. With my own daughters I embrace our differences as well as the things we share in common." Well, yes, that WOULD be the ideal.

What follows beyond the Forword, where the author more or less introduces her qualifications for writing a book filed with advice, is just that. Lots of useful advice for getting through life. The conversational and rational writing style immediately allowed me to GET OVER MYSELF, and just enjoy the various topics. I found it hard to disagree with anything she wrote. Everything is based on the author's experience, and much of it is universal. The suggestions, "It's Easier to Get into Things Than It Is to Get Out of Them," or "In Really Tough Times, Regularly Take Time Off," for example, are pearls of wisdom for mothers to not only pass onto their daughters, but also to remind themselves of every now and again.

This is a well written collection, with a mature and rational sensitivity. It's an excellent gift book--for our daughters, and our friends who have daughters, and, of course, for mothers too. I recommend it.

"When you've made your point, sit down," reads the last entry. So, I will.

From the author of "A Line Between Friends," McKenna Publishing Group.
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Format: Paperback
So I got this book from my mom for Christmas and I have to say that I am having a very negative reaction to the author. While there may appear to be snippits of life-learned advice, when you actually read her examples, it's a bit ridiculous. Her key for living a happy life is to be selfish. Oh, and being priviledged doesn't hurt either. Don't want to be bogged down with spending time with friends or volunteering, don't commit to anything! She tells this lovely story about screwing over her husband when SHE suggested having a dinner party for his colleagues and then when a better offer came up, she abandonded him and he was on his own for entertaining this crowd. Her lesson learned--don't plan things too far in advance because you never know if a better offer is around the corner. How about sticking to your committments? That is the kind of person you have to track down to get a wedding RSVP out of.

She also talks about dedicating your life to your kids but talks about how she refused to help them with homework. Nice.

This author struggles with what I call the Martha Stewart affliction. Fifteen years ago, you would watch the only Martha Stewart show on and realize two things...she has a talent that maybe you would like to have yourself and she has no clue that everyone else does not live like her. Martha got smart and realized her earnings were limited by only talking to the rich people and took her case to K-Mart. Stoddard is Martha 15 years ago. She comes off as a snob and a bit selfish and yet, you can tell in her stories that she doesn't get it. Real life means making choices and sacrifices. I don't get the feeling that she has had to do a whole lot of either of those things.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alexandra is a favorite author. I love her possitive outlook and energy. This little book written in her signature essay style is a gem. She writes, "Think of your priorities. Focus on all you have. Stay centered. Be still. If you were looking down from the level of total awareness, how important are the things that cause you stress and worry? They are passing, fleeting, and perhaps, meaningless. Worrying about some future negative possibility is poisonous, blocking you from experiencing the magnificence of this wonderful moment that you will never get back." Full of real beauty and real wisdom, I can't imagine a person who wouldn't benefit from thinking over some of these issues.
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Format: Hardcover
Where do I start with this book? I am not sure how it got published. This author definitely sounds like she came from a background of wealth and status, whose most difficult life experience was her massage being cancelled, or her maid quitting. She also seems to have no clue that other readers are most likey not in the same privileged position as she is. It comes off as a rich woman explaining to her maid why the maid should save her pennies. I don't mean to sound bitter- this book was just laughable. Some actual excerpts from her book were

"In my desire to give my children honey, I raised them as though they were my grandchildren. They both went to good, strict private schools, where their teachers demanded a great deal from them. I tended to hug then and reinforce their great qualities and strenghts." I just shook my head when I read this. I actually re-read it 3 times. Not everyone has the money to send their children to private schools to do a parents "dirty" work. Even if I did have the money to send my children to private school, it felt like she didn't want to seem "strict" or "difficult" in any way, or for her children to not like her, she she was the one to give the lollipops and ballons while the teachers did the discipline. Not admirable. Not someone I would take life lessons from.

Another excerpt that stood out was when she advised to pay attention to your children's requests. She mentions that one time she asked her daughter where she wanted to go on her winter break, and when her daughter replied PARIS..they flew to Paris, just her and her 2 daughers. How lovely!

This book has to some small degree facts that are helpful bits on life such as being grateful and not expecting gratitude, and Pain is inevitable; Suffering is a choice.
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