January is ending, and I can check another thing off my to-do list... reading Bringing Up Girls, by Dr. James Dobson. The thing about reading Dobson's books is that it leads you to read another, and another...darn him!
Again, I thoroughly enjoyed it and he managed to "put the fear of God" in me about those teenage years -which is a big focus of the book, but I'm doing my homework now. I think alot of parents assume that by high school their children are well, no longer "children" but he has sufficient evidence how much they still need us. I have to admit, I'm re-thinking returning to work (as assumed I would when the kids were older). It sounds like the teen years are alot like the toddler years, lol.
Of course his assessment of how very important fathers are to girls is no surprise. Having grown up with a predominantly absent father myself, I can attest to how that relationship defines a girl...and later a woman. I am so thankful my daughter has a father (and grandfather) who adore her. For the rest of us, we have our Heavenly Father.
I especially enjoyed the chapter "Why she is who she is" which explains the female brain. Did you know that in females mutual facial gazing will increase by over 400% in the first 3 months of life, whereas this response will not increase at all in boys during this time? Girls are just natural communicators. I guess this explains why I pick my daughter up from school and she starts to tell me all about her day before we even reach the car...then I pick up my son, ask him about his day and he replies "I played".
Although I will probably never send my daughter to finishing school, I agree manners are important. The conversation game was a neat exercise. Our culture would have us believe that "good girls" are scared & shy instead of modern ladies confident in their faith. A personal pet peeve of mine are shirts, wall hangings or anything else bragging qualities like "Diva", "Spoiled" or anything else meant to dumb down our girls...are these really traits to be proud of? Not in my house.
And I loved the charm bracelet story, in which a girl was presented with a bracelet dangling with tiny jewels and instructed that she could date anyone she wanted BUT there was a catch: she had to give the corresponding charm (pink quartz, ruby, sapphire, diamond) to the first boy who held her hand, her first kiss, her first boyfriend, etc. Her response? "These are insanely expensive! I can't just give them away!" Perfect symbolism.
Thumbs up, Dr. Dobson!
The best advice I can pass onto Brinley on dating...
"A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her"
~ Max Lucado