Reading is something I like to do, don't do enough of and wish I did faster. I try to read things that are going to be either helpful to my daily living or actually appeal to me. If I am going to read something with the purpose of it helping my daily living then I have some things I would like to see: 1) It cannot contradict the Bible in any way; 2)It uses the Bible for establishing principles; and 3)It is not stacked full of pop-psych, catchy trends.
Well, several months ago, I finished reading All You Need to Know About...Raising Girls. Since we have three of these little creatures in our care, I thought this would be great. There sure is a lot to know and I need it! "Raising Girls journeys into the heart of girls to help parents understand their daughter's different stages of development: what is normal, what is not, and how to relate effectively." - is what caught my eye when perusing amazon.com for a new book. Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff have broken the book up into three sections: What's Normal, What's Not - a look at typical behaviors in the discovery, adventurous, narcissistic and autonomous years; What's Going On With Her - in her heart and mind about relationships, family, boys and society's effects on her; and How Can I Help? - parenting through a clear lens.
The authors did what they did well. They have decades of combined experience in the counseling room with girls and they effectively communicated the scientific aspect of girls' developmental stages. They walked through each phase well enough for anyone with an un-scientific mind to recognize where their child is in the process. The book causes parents to at least question whether or not they are parenting through a blurry or clear lens......playing favorites, living vicariously through a child, anger, etc.
Raising Girls did fall short in a couple of areas for me. The Bible and its principles were not at the forefront. While in the introduction, the authors do incite a desire to 'equip you with a voice to call out who God has uniquely created her to be," it was not until well into the second chapter that the name of God was even mentioned. Scripture was certainly not drawn upon in great amounts. In fact, it was sparsely quoted. I found it difficult to reconcile calling out my uniquely created daughter without hardly a mention of the One who created her. Secondly, pop-psych was dominant. Many a quote from different psychologists and philosophers peppered the 243 pages. In many cases, the psychological statement or observation was used as a 'jumping-off point' rather than a supplement. Lastly, I was troubled by one particular example used by the authors to bring home a point. Now, I am realistic in understanding that dad is not always around (whatever the circumstance) to help mom home from the hospital, but in using the example of a mother bringing home her newborn baby from the hospital with her good female friend, the authors left room for interpretation on how they feel about the Biblical design for family. It seems to me that in a book deisgned to aid in the building of biblical families, a male-female scenario would have been desirable to establish the author's point.
I will take away from Raising Girls the fact that I don't know everything. I will not however, find all I need to know about raising my three precious girls from this book.