I don’t often read non fiction – in fact, this is the first non fiction book I’ve read since I started doing book reviews on here. This was recommended by the Head Teacher at my eldest daughter’s school (the author is a parent from the girls’ school she was previously head of) – and ever a girlie swot, I always do what I’m told – so I purchased it to read over Easter.
The full title is ‘Girls Uninterrupted – steps for building stronger girls in a challenging world’. Snappy eh?! But I totally agreed with the sentiment – so thought I’d give it a go.
Here is what the Amazon blurb has to say:
“* Why are girls self-harming and suffering eating disorders in record numbers? * Why do girls feel they have to be ‘little miss perfects’ who are never allowed to fail? * Why are girls turning against each other on social media? * What should we tell girls about how to deal with challenges of every day sexism and violent, misogynistic pornography? * How can parents, teachers and grandparents inoculate girls so they can push back against the barrage of unhealthy messages bombarding them about what it means to be female? Whether they are praised for being pretty rather than smart, or accused of being ‘bossy’ rather than leaders, teaching girls how to be comfortable with themselves has never been more challenging. Laid out in clear simple steps, Girls Uninterrupted shows the practical strategies you need to create a carefree childhood for your daughters and ultimately help build them into the healthy, resilient women they deserve to be.”
Now, it wasn’t a page turning ‘can’t put down’ of a book – but I did find it really interesting. With 3 daughters (and a son) at different ages from pre-teen down to toddler – it was very appropriate.
A lot of it is common sense – or, common sense when you think about it – but how often do you take the time out of your busy life to sit down and think about stuff like this? I know I don’t. It was great to take that time out and think about how our actions – and the actions of the world about us – impact on our daughters’ lives.
There are some interesting facts and statistics that it was good to see too, on a whole myriad of relevant topics – eating disorders, viewing of porn on the internet and bullying to name but 3.
It has already impacted (in a good way!) on my own behaviour. Even my husband noticed I’d put my phone down when we were all out having lunch after going swimming as a family last weekend (normally I’d be checking emails / updating Facebook / tweeting – but decided all of that could wait!)
Then today, the 11 year old and I had a conversation about her exams this week, and how all we want is for her to do her best – and how they’re not the end of the world. Thankfully she seems to be taking them in her stride really well – and can see that some of the girls in her class who have cried over getting one question wrong and getting very stressed beforehand is not healthy, and definitely not what we as her parents want her to worry about.
Some of the recommendations I’m not sure are totally achievable for us as a family (for example, we can’t turn the wifi off to stop the kids accessing it in the evenings after their bedtimes, as that’s often when the husband and I are catching up with the day jobs!) – but we can remove their devices from their bedrooms and set them to charge on the landing instead. There are lots of other suggestions to be inspired by too.
I would really recommend this to everyone with daughters.
But now back to some reading as escapism from reality for a bit!!