If you could be 13 again, would you?
I would if I could bring You're
Amazing! A No-Pressure Guide to Being Your Best Self by Claire Mysko with me. I'm not exaggerating or sucking up to Claire, whom I met at WAM!. I don't think high school would had been too much different, but I would had felt far less lonely.
Mysko discusses body image, stress and stereotypes with the sensitivity of a loving big sister or that cool older cousin. She opens each chapter with data from the Girls Inc. The Supergirl Dilemma report (Girls Inc produced this book). While it is a source of many depressing moments (e.g. 84% of girls said that girls are under a lot of pressure to dress the right way.), it does set a starting point. Mysko goes on to discuss strategies for the girls in order to overcome obstacles and meet challenges. She also includes conversation starters for approaching trusted adults. The book is frank and doesn't talk down to the girls. Like any good "self-help" book it has activities to reach out adults and include BFFs in the discussion.
The only qualm I had with the book was within the discussion on bullying. One example of being bullied included being called "gay". While this is a top slam on the playground, I fear that a questioning girl may wonder if it really is the ultimate put down. Thankfully there is a listing for the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network in the resource section.
If you are a parent and thinking of buying this for your daughter – DO IT. I would suggest either reading it first or buying yourself a copy. Mysko suggests ways for the girls to start conversations with you – Be Prepared. The questions may be as simple as "What did you want to be when you were my age?" or as difficult as "How did you handle peer pressure?" I will advocate for using honesty and not to dodge the conversation because that's what I am for with my daughter. Yet I also know sometimes we do a little of both – some truth, some dodging. Do your best and treat her with respect.
I know raising girls is a tough guy, hopefully You're Amazing will make the uncharted territory a bit less scary.
You can purchase You're Amazing through an indy bookseller, Powell's, or Amazon.
Disclaimer: The only payment I received for this review was the review copy of the book.
Girls Incorporated is a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. With roots dating to 1864, Girls Inc has provided vital educational programs to millions of American girls, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas. Today, innovative programs help girls confront subtle societal messages about their value and potential, and prepare them to lead successful, independent, and fulfilling lives.
This post was scheduled to post on the 17th, but somehow didn't...so it's being reposted now.