by Melody Carlson
Subtitled: Everything Your Teenage Daughter Wants You to Know but Will NEVER Tell You.
Well, when Waterbrook sent this book, I have to admit, I was curious. I mean, after all, I have seven daughters, five (or soon to be) of whom are either teens or once were (Challice has entered the roaring 20’s already). So, I sat down, and started reading.
First, the book is written as though a very long letter from daughter to mother. This alone is quite accurate. Daughters can definitely talk a lot and have a lot to say. I found it kind of comical how accurate the “book” aspect of the “discussion” was. As with many books written in the first person, the style gets a bit wearisome. I found myself needing to read it in chunks rather than in one sitting to avoid brain burn.
However, the content was fairly “dead on” in my experience with girls. As with a lot of girls, it was a bit overly dramatic at times (My daughters would be a little insulted by the constant insistence that the girl doesn’t know her own mind and is a bundle of contradictions) but for the most part, I could see every frustrated teen age girl I’ve ever known (including myself) in the pages. I saw their insecurities, their attempts at maturity, and the surprising maturity hidden where the girl probably never looked for it.
As for a target audience, this book isn’t for every mom. If you understand your daughter, if you have reasonably good communication, then you probably don’t need the book. Yes, you’ll get something out of it but seriously, spend the time you would spend reading the book just interacting with your daughter. However, if sometimes you just don’t understand why your girl seems to withdraw from you, why she seems to be a jumble of nerves and hormones, you might benefit from reading this book. It’s small enough to tuck into your purse and read while waiting for her at the mall, soccer practice, or the movies. It’s short enough to finish off in a week or two if you just read a few pages at a time. And, for the most part I think, it’s a book that if your daughter picks up and reads, she’s not going to be offended at the condescending tone of an “expert” telling you where she’s a mess. I think my girls would get a bit bent out of shape over a few of the stereotypes but then they’ve been raised differently than a lot of kids so they’ve missed some of that.
This book would be beneficial to you if…
- You have a teen aged daughter and you are struggling with your relationship
- You have or know a girl in some kind of traditional school and want to understand how to relate to them
The target audience of this book is probably not conservative Christian homeschooling families but I can see how the book would be beneficial to anyone who is in contact with teen aged girls on any kind of a regular basis. The title is “Dear Mom” but honestly, I think it’d help a Dad understand common feminine teen problems or even help a writer “capture” the essence of modern teen thought.
If you’re really brave, I dare you to buy this book (or win it on my site here!) and hand it to your daughter. Ask her to critique it, underline or highlight sections that really speak to her, and then see where it goes. I guarantee you, it won’t be a waste of your time.
Now for the fun stuff! Waterbrook has generously given me a copy of this book to give away. In addition, I want this book to get out there to as many people as may want/need it so I’m going to give away my copy too! Please leave a comment and I’ll do a random number generator on Friday for the winners and get that book shipped out right away.