One of the books that I had added to my library request list quite a while ago finally showed up in my inbox...and I couldn't put it down. It took me basically the entire 2 weeks to read it because there was SO much information - I wanted to get all of the messages and not miss anything!
The book is called "Bringing Up Girls", and was written by a family psychologist and evangelical Christian author. I absolutely loved this book because it addresses head-on the problems and pitfalls of raising a morally strong, feminine young lady in the midst of a hyper-sexualized, corrupt culture. Even years before we were pregnant, I always said that my primary goal with all of my children is that I wanted my daughters to be ladies, and my sons to be gentlemen. I knew we would make mistakes, I knew we wouldn't be perfect, but if we could achieve that, I would consider our parenting to be a success. And this book is perfectly in line with that ambition, without being patronizing or out-of-date (the book was actually just published in 2010).
The current culture is incredibly daunting to me. I always joke to people that I'm going to raise Anna as a home-schooled Amish person...but I'm starting to think it's not a joke.
TV shows aimed at young girls are appalling to me- they teach little girls that it's funny and cool to be sassy, disobedient, and to dress inappropriately. Clothing stores at the mall sell clothes with degrading messages and indecent hemlines. Any given song on the radio contains mature language or topics. Entertaining has been reduced to sales pitch parties, and "friendship" now seems to equal giving hundreds of people you never talk to access to snoop into your entire world on Facebook. People of all ages seem to be more tuned in to their text messages and electronic gadgets than to the people they are sitting with at the table. It seems like the entire world is working against morals, manners, strong relationships and femininity.
(On a side note re: Facebook...I did a pretty thorough clean out of my friends list a week or two ago but if I happened to delete anyone that actually reads and enjoys this blog, please feel free to add me back. And then comment sometimes so I don't get paranoid about all the looky-loos, haha).
This book addresses all of that, and provides valuable insight both from the perspective of your little girl and also from the perspective of strong, firm and supportive parents. I also LOVE the fact that he delves very heavily into the importance of the father throughout his daughter's life...he encourages EVERY father to be active and involved throughout his daughter's life, and then gives concrete examples of how to do that. One of my favorite chapters in the book consists of 40 or 50 "snippets" of advice for fathers of girls, and it really made me stop and think about how different my life would have been if I had had a positive male role model involved consistently in my life.
My one complaint about the book, at the risk of sounding like a total heathen, was that it was a little TOO Christian-heavy at some parts. I consider myself to be a fairly spiritual person but when it's page after page of people I don't know talking about church, I tend to tune out. It's a very minor complaint though and I think even the most pagan of people can still find some very powerful messages in this book.
Needless to say, I'm ordering a print copy of this book. It's still fairly expensive on Amazon but for anyone raising a little girl, or thinking of raising a little girl, I can say with confidence that it's worth every single penny. And I know I will also be curious to read his "Bringing Up Boys" book if and when we've got a little boy on the way!