Book Reviews

From daughter to woman – a book review

I wanted to introduce you to an amazing book called “From daughter to woman – parenting girls safely through their teens” by Kim McCabe. I am getting so much from reading it that is helping me not only parent my daughter but also my teen oldest son and my almost teen youngest son.

From  daughters to women

Kim McCabe’s mission is to make the adolescent girl’s journey just that bit safer, kinder and better supported. Her book is very easy to understand and some of the concepts are so simple and yet powerful too. One big one that features in the book is the idea of taking time out with your child and making sure special time and treats are scheduled in so that those moments do not get neglected in our increasingly full and busy lives.

Carving out special moments

I am one of those mums who is a bit chaotic. I am always saying I will take my daughter away regularly for the weekend for some female-only time but then find it never happens. That will change and soon with the reminder from this great book on mother-daughter relationships.

I have read the book in two ways. I have read it in chronological order but also had it at my side to dip into when the mood takes me.

For every mum and daughter

As someone who experienced post-natal depression I always feel my daughter missed out on the mothering she could/should have had in earlier life. I have read it is possible to heal some of those wrongs or wounds in her teen years. This book is effectively a toolkit to show me just how to do that to the benefit of not only her but me too.

My daughter currently is home-educated and not facing a lot of the peer pressure that many teenagers her age might be. She feels safe and happy which was not the case just before we took her out of school. This book is suitable for girls and mums who have very different circumstances to ours. Indeed, I think every mum and daughter could take positives from the book.

From Daughter To Woman

Celebrating milestones

It covers that milestone of periods and made me as a 49 year old woman realise how dopey I have been in not looking after myself at the time of the month. This book shows it is OK and sensible to take time out or pamper ourselves in our own individual ways when we are perhaps in physical or emotional pain. That’s so obvious but I know many women and girls like me drive themselves way too hard only for life to catch up with them weeks or years down the line,

The book will help any woman of a girl who has not started her periods start a conversation about that issue. It celebrates that puberty is a good thing and part of life’s journey.

Wise words

For me, I found it very helpful to be let off the hook a bit. I always feel so guilty when my children think I am not a great parent or just show any form of unhappiness. This book reminds us that this is normal at this age and encourages us to look back at our own experiences of teen years. It emphasises how crucial mums are at this time and that keeping on keeping on is pretty marvellous in its own right. We can get better at parenting day by day and there are great clues in this book as to how to do just that.

I also love how the book says that a daughter needs more than her mum. She needs a tribe of girls and women in her corner. Your daughter may already have these but if not, there are tools that can help you build her tribe of strong women all of whom will play their part in supporting her along the way.

There are clever bits to the book like Girl Talk sections making it easy to discuss puberty, periods, relationships and vitally how to lift our spirits.

Case-studies are used to illustrate key points but do not take over the book which I like.

If you are interested in pursuing the ideas in the book further you can tap into information on Girls Journeying Together, Rites for Girls Facilitator Training and coaching on creating your daughter’s own rite of passage.

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Cuddle Fairy

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.


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