"Though anxiety has risen among young people overall, studies confirm that it has skyrocketed in girls. Research finds that the number of girls who said that they often felt nervous, worried, or fearful jumped 55% from 2009 to 2014 while the comparable number for adolescent boys has remained unchanged. As a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with girls, Lisa Damour, Ph.D., has witnessed this rising tide of stress and anxiety in her own research, private practice, and in the all-girls' school where she consults, and knew this had to be the topic of her new book. In the same engaging, anecdotal style and reassuring tone that won over thousands of readers of her first book, Untangled, Damour starts by addressing the facts about psychological pressure. Surprisingly, she explains the underappreciated value of stress and anxiety--that stress can helpfully stretch us beyond our comfort zones and anxiety can play a key role in keeping girls safe. When we emphasize the benefits of stress and anxiety we can help our daughters take them in stride. But no one wants their girl to suffer from emotional overload, so Damour then turns to the many facets of their lives where tension takes hold: their interactions at home, pressures at school, social anxiety among other girls and among boys, and on social media. As readers move through the layers of girls' lives, they'll learn about the critical steps that adults can take to shield their daughters from the toxic pressures to which our culture--including we, as parents--subjects girls. Readers who know Damour from Untangled or the New York Times or from her regular appearances on CBS News will be drawn to this important new contribution to understanding and supporting today's girls"--
I want it known first of all that this is definitely not a book about anxiety disorders. I think the use of the word anxiety makes people think that this book will only be used to learn about abnormal and dysfunctional feelings. This book is about the normal stress and anxiety of being a girl. Honestly, 85% of the book would apply to any gender, so I would say you don't necessarily have to stick to reading this only if you have a cis gendered girl in your home.
I really enjoyed reading this, took copious notes in the margins and marked a lot of pages to return to, something I almost never do while reading, so that should tell you how useful this book really is. This book covers very useful and practical exercises to do (in many cases with sample scripts) to help your daughter process feelings, navigate complex social relationships and get the most out of her education and friendships. The author acknowledges that society puts a lot more pressure on girls to be socially savvy very early that it doesn't put on boys, and also that they must be attractive, even more qualified than a male counterpart and charming while doing it. The author does not dwell on this information, I wouldn't even say the book is really about the pressures put on girls, but it is a backdrop to the information provided, which is how to help yourself and your daughter navigate this landscape.
I highly HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone with a daughter, and still recommend it for anyone without.
I particularly liked the chapter where she addressed the stress girls face and the pressure they place on themselves through the whole process of trying to get into the colleges of their choice. Damour advises changing our focus from academic achievement that eventually leads to affluence, to one that focuses on well-being and fulfillment. We need a new definition of success, one that focuses on a life that has meaning and direction, a feeling of success in one's endeavors, and which emphasizes well-being and fulfillment...not just impressive academic achievements, a long resume, and high earnings.
Anyone who has daughters or who works with teen girls will find much to take from this book. The author offers so many ways to help teach or coach teen girls facing difficult situations and to help them cope when they are feeling overwhelmed. I plan on re-reading this one and highly recommend it to anyone who cares about teens today, especially teen girls who face such unique pressures in our society.