In a perfect world, one would wish that all parents of teen girls (and boys) would be given this book as required reading. Author Wiseman lays the groundwork for understanding the complex social dynamics that affect girls in their developing years. As the mother of a 13 year old, I saw quite a few of the dynamics listed in the book and was not only armed with knowledge but also tips on how to navigate that tricky parenting landscape. Not seeing it doesn’t mean it isn’t there and there seems to be a lot of denial going around by parents about ‘their little angels’.
The book covers a wide range of situations: bullying, sex, drugs, peer pressure, cliques, boyfriends, etc. The age group covered is puberty (around 10-11) through adulthood (18+) but discussions also concern girls as early as kindergarten (when girls first encounter complex social conditions). The author is straightforward but not clinical; the tone is conversational but isn’t sugar coated nor does it pander.
Countless actual situation problems by real teen girls are interspersed throughout. Wiseman draws from those situations as examples that can be used to help parents cope with similar problems with their own kids. If I had one quibble, it’s that many situations are presented but not all are discussed through to solution. Often, they are there to further broaden the scope of the topic only, which was somewhat frustrating (especially if your child has experienced that particular issue).
I found the book comprehensive and useful. So much of the book’s content were relevant and applicable to what my teen is going through now that she is transitioning into middle school. I feel that both of us are better armed to deal with the landmines (there are many ‘don’t do/say this to your daughter’ examples that were so helpful) that she and her parents will face. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.