I’ve just finished reading Gisela Preuschoff’s Raising Girls. Preuschoff is a psychologist and family therapist. The earlier chapters trace the developmental changes in girls, exploring why girls are different, their emotional world, and offers some thoughts on how parents could go about developing their relationship with their daughter/s in the earliest months and years. Two further chapters explore issues of social conditioning, and education (this was the most disappointing chapter).

In the final two chapters, Preuschoff turns the spotlight onto questions of family dynamics, the teenage years, peer relationships, communication styles, and self-esteem.

One of the real strengths of the book is its discouragement of a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, an approach all-to-commonly repeated. Rather, Preuschoff encourages parents to really get to know their daughters, identify and encourage their strengths and passions. I most appreciated this.

To be honest, however, I found the book overall a weak compliment to its cousin Raising Boys. My main disappointment with the book (and it is certainly not unique here) is that I felt that it was written to mums rather to dads. Dads, of course, get the obligatory 2-3 pages, but that’s about it. I’d be keen to hear how other dads found this book.

That said, it was worth reading, and I will devote the next few posts to sharing some thoughts/quotations from it.

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