I’m going to be totally honest here and voice my anxiety over my daughters’ future–their teen years specifically. I went through typical emotional and social roller coasters at that age, but times have changed–Hello Facebook? I’m not even going to get into social media since that deserves its own book series, lecture circuit and curriculum to tackle. But a book that I do want to talk about is The Girl Guide: Finding Your Place in a Mixed Up World by Christine Fonseca. It’s like a “What to Expect” guide that addresses the deeper, more complex and psychological world of being a teen girl. And girls need a voice to say, “Hey, I know what you’re going through!” So just who is that voice and what can you expect from her book?
The author Christine has dedicated her life to helping teen girls navigate adolescence. A trained educational psychologist, she manages the parenting blog Emotional Intensity, has published two-non-fiction titles for gifted kids, writes a popular YA series, and is the mother of two tween girls. As a parent who would most likely read the book before passing it down to my own two daughters, I would rather read a guide written by someone who knows what girls are going through.
Each chapter contains journal prompts, real stories, quizzes and activities. In one chapter about confidence, Christine asks girls to keep a journal where they write what they are most thankful for. She encourages simple things to get the girls writing–like being thankful it didn’t rain today. This prompt is followed by a look at confidence vs. pride, with a real girl story to paint the picture in way that teen girls can understand. The big point here is that the journaling will help girls realize their strengths and focus on the positive. She then asks them to turn their “I’m thankful” journaling into writing about their accomplishments. I know this is written for girls, but this is an activity grownups could use too!
The chapter titles read like a typical high school day: Ch. 1, “It’s My Life;” Ch. 4, “The Social Game;” Ch.7, “The Confidence Key;” Ch. 11, “Emotional Overload;” Ch. 13, “Bouncing Back from Bullying;” and so on. Is this taking you back to your high school days at all?
Below are some sample worksheets to get you started with your daughter. I especially love the “Who Am I” checklist. I know it might be hard for our daughters to see themselves the way we do, but I think this checklist can be a powerful tool to help them–again–realize their strengths as the awesome and amazing person we know they are!
Have you read the book yet? Or are you a mom of teen girls with helpful advice? We’d love to hear from you!