Talking with Your Daughter About Best Friends and Mean Girls, by Dannah Gresh
Harvest House Publishers
Released: August 1, 2013
I received an e-version of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
As a mother of two daughters, now twelve and fourteen, I find myself increasingly aware of the world around me. I've worked in a grades 7-12 high school for ten years and have witnessed the anything and everything of adolescence. (And I work in a country setting!) Two thoughts continually cross my mind: 1. I need to talk about usual teenage problems with my girls ahead of time and 2. My girls need to know they can come to me about anything and everything.
This is what I thought when I saw the title Talking with Your Daughter About Best Friends and Mean Girls. First of all, this book is definitely better in physical paper form. There are pictures, graphics, and headings that throw the text off in the electronic version...it was very distracting. Also, the book is meant to be used as a workbook, so the physical book makes this possible. The book contains 8 dates for a mother to plan with her daughter. Some can be done with friends and their mothers, most dates could be done on your own with your daughter. The date topics are as follows:
1. True Friendship in God's Eyes
2. Friendship with My Neighbor
3. Friendship with Mean Girlz
4. Friendship with My BFF
5. Friendship with My Parents
6. Friendship with My Siblings
7. Friendship with God
8. Friendship with Boys
Each date gives the mom some background information about how to set the date up (for example, one is a slumber party, another a shopping spree, etc) and what to discuss. The activity for each date lends itself to discussion of the topic of the date. There are girl talk and journaling opportunities and even mp3 downloads where popular Christian singers share their experiences. Near the end of the book, the author shares other books about daughters and answers some often asked question about when to let your daughter date, wear make up, etc.
My daughters did not end up reading this book with me as planned and I did not go through with all of the dates or even step for step on the dates I did like. This was simply because I think the book is better suited to younger kids. Yes, the majority of the book is review and set up information for mom, but the age and maturity level of your child will determine whether or not they'd go along with it. As I began reading, I realized my daughters would laugh and maybe do some eye rolling if I said, "Ok, we're going on a date and..." You get the picture. However, if I took the information about the topics of discussion and presented them casually while simply driving somewhere or sitting in Barnes and Noble's cafe, I was much more likely to get their attention and keep it. The best aspect of the book for me was the Biblical alignment it provided for each topic.
So I would suggest this book for people with younger daughters, possibly ages 9-12. I'd also say the opinions and results of using this book would vary greatly on your and your daughter's personalities. For example, I'm not a big "plan an event" type person, so some of the dates' prep work was excessive to me. So I have to leave this one up in the air. Another benefit to getting the paper version is you can look through it first and see what you think!