Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Raising daring girls

When my Mom decided to move to Georgia after living nearly 50 years in the same county in Maryland, it was quite a shock.

Daring, risk-taking, adventurous was just something she wasn't.

While she's never held me back for trying to take risks, she was definitely not actively teaching me to seek out adventure.

If anything, she taught me to be extra cautious, extra careful --- qualities that I still hold deeply to heart, especially now as a mother.

It truly is a fine line with wanting to give your daughters the world, but protect them, too.

Right now, my daughters are fearless in the most crazy, crowded places, yet cower between my legs in small, intimate situations.

I know I will struggle with pushing them to take risk, while holding them back from trouble and pain and getting hurt.

I know I want them to make their own mistakes, and learn from them. Yet, I feel, it's my job to at least warn them of the mistakes I made and how I learned from them or maybe even changed because of them.

Yes, raising girls -- daring ones, at that -- is a scary thought.

That's why when MotherTalk offered me a chance to review the new "The Daring Book for Girls," by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz, I jumped at the chance. I knew enough about the boy version, "A Dangerous Book for Boys," to know that the girls version would be a great book to hold on to for Jadyn and Liana.

Inside, the pages are covered with amazing information that taught me interesting things. Some of my favorites:

1. Rules of the Game: Basketball: With a husband who is pretty into sports, and basketball in particular, I have always felt at a disadvantage for not knowing anything about the game. I love that now I'll have some insight to offer the girls when they get started in sports. Of course, their Da will teach them everything they need to know. He's already commenting on Liana's natural form and throw.

2. Building a Campfire: It's not enough to just sit back and enjoy the campfire. A girl needs to know how to build it, and sustain it. This book gives that information.

3. What is the Bill of Rights: Much more than the fact that I want to raise daring girls, I want to raise politically smart women who aren't afraid to question what is happening in their government and speak their minds about it.

4. Finance: Interest, Stocks and Bonds: This section of the book could be longer and more detailed, but what is provided is good. I believe this kind of information needs to be taught to young girls as early as possible. It's not enough to use just a savings account anymore.

By the time I finished reading this book, I felt satisfied and plan to buy a copy for my niece, who is a tween. My biggest problem with this book is not knowing what age group it is best for. An eight-year-old might have fun learning some of the more basic things in the book, while a teenager might have interest in the more advanced. And yet it would be perfectly fine for a 30-year-old or an 80-year-old woman.

I guess it's a book that a girl can grow into as she reaches each stage in life.

Regardless, "The Daring Book for Girls" should be sitting on her bedside table, and parents should be reading along, too. Especially about the Bill of Rights, part.

Stay tuned: The LTMD Group Writing Project topic will be announced today. Get your keyboards ready!

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Shannon said...

oh good, sounds like practical life advice. I'll add that to the recommended reading in my daughter's journal. By the way, my mother was wayyyyy over-protective and it was hard raising a girl with the kind of fear having an over-protective mother fostered. Let them have a skateboard. :-)

bella said...

You've made me want to go get a copy for myself!
And I admire that you seek to raise daring girls. We need more wild, adventurous,spirited women in this world, women who know the difference between daring and stupid. :)