Foreword Review — May / June 1999
Many a concerned parent or educator has watched a confident, forthright and assertive girl walk into puberty and falter, suddenly filled with self-doubt and anxiety. While passage from childhood to adolescence contains many mysteries regarding possible reasons for this faltering, many professionals and lay persons are working to bring consciousness to the ways American culture contributes to or aggravates this loss of self-esteem. Encircling this aspect of culture, 200 Ways to Raise a Girl’s Self-Esteem offers meaningful ways to simultaneously explore the reader’s own history and the ways they were supported or undermined while extending their own support in wise and practical ways to assist daughters.
The suggestions composing this guide are organized into six areas: love, modeling, using the power of words, demonstrating those words, healthy risk-taking and integrity. Each of the suggestions begins with a first-person experience highlighting the particular suggestion. Following is a further exploration of the idea and practical advice for both parents and teachers in creating related opportunities to deepen young girls’ experience of themselves. This practical advice ranges from introducing girls to interesting adults to broaden their scope of mentors, allowing for a family day of rest to promote dream time, to finding places where daughters can make their own appropriate decisions.
It is easy to become mired in all of the advice offered by various books regarding child rearing. Glennon’s book, however, combines practical ideas with the encouragement to invest the reader’s compassion into themselves and their daughters, realigning their priorities and finding a place where these ideas can be applied in appropriate and meaningful ways.