Growing up, I didn't have a lot of friends. Girls, I mean. I guess it was around the time I entered the 2nd grade (around my youngest girl's age) when I realized that little girls weren't very nice.
In fact, I quickly learned that some little girls could be very, very mean, too.
"Look she's got boobies!"
I'd like to believe that, like me, Buffy (you know, the frenemy slayer) has since grown up, gotten over the fact that she felt the need to single me out, in front of the entire 3rd grade class, for wearing a pale lemon yellow body suit, without a training bra, but is raising her children with a little more common sense and compassion.
I doubt it, though.
Then again, raising 3 girls (and 1 boy) of my own, I often times find myself fingering the scars of my youth and can't help but wonder, you know, if it weren't for Buffy, would I be the mother I am today?
I have the extreme pleasure of being the 1st stop on the TLC Book Tour for September 2009, featuring The Curse of the Good Girl - Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence by Rachel Simmons.
Drawing from the stories of the women and girls who attend her workshops, Simmons traces the impact of Good Girl pressure on girls’ development and provides strategies to teach girls to not only to listen to their inner voice, but also to empower and embrace their real selves. She shows how true freedom of the self is permission to take the healthy risks that can result in great triumphs, and to accept and grow from the mistakes we make along the way. Rachel Simmons’s THE CURSE OF THE GOOD GIRL is a call to arms from a new front in female empowerment, providing tangible lessons and effective strategies to help Good Girls become Real Girls.
My parents immigrated from Hungary in 1956 and often times share stories with my children describing my younger self as "a good girl." So, I feel it safe to say that I was destined to be "different" straight out of the womb.
I spoke a different language, lived on the "wrong" side of the tracks and my "sensitivity" to it all was a sign of weakness.
Conflict was my bff and I was damned if my girls where going to feel the same way.
In Chapter Six (My Daughter, Myself) Rachel Simmons addresses this:
"Nearly every mother I meet wants to know what she can do to empower her daughter. Almost all expect suggestions for their girls: join a team, volunteer, pursue a cause."
Then, they meet other girls (and their mothers) and, well, there is NO avoiding conflict:
"At the end of the day, the best gift a mother can give is to take - that is, take the time to find herself, set a new example, and shatter the vise grip of the Good Wife/Bad Wife and Good Mother/Bad Mother labels. When a mother's behavior breaks the rules, she gives her daughter the authority to live by her own."
I wanted to hate this book -- anytime I hear the words "empowering our daughters" I worry whether or not we're meant to raise mean girls -- but, I can't.
The Curse of the Good Girl is about courage to find confidence in yourself and goes beyond by breaking down the perceptions of what others feel is right, or wrong. Not just for my daughters, but for myself, as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend...you name it...this book made me realize that, like relationships, we are ALL a work in progress and, rest assured, I'll be turning it's pages...often.
FIND IT HERE: Amazon.com
[Cross-posted to my shopping blog -- no payment, or other consideration besides a copy of the book for review, was received for this post]
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