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Growing a Girl: Seven Strategies for Raising a Strong, Spirited Daughter
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Growing a Girl: Seven Strategies for Raising a Strong, Spirited Daughter

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  88 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
“Mackoff’s strategies for enhancing girls’ self-esteem and creating equal opportunity are clear, practical, and most important, achievable.”—Peggy Orenstein, author of School Girls: Young Women, Self-Esteem, and the Confidence Gap


Like parents of girls everywhere, psychologist Barbara Mackoff often heard her young daughter Hannah
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Dell
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Dec 02, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it
Excellent reference for anyone concerned about the day their daughter asks for a Barbie doll.
Aug 02, 2007 Alex rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents
A parenting book targetted for girls, but just as applicable for parenting boys in many ways. Mackoff calls her approach "equalist parenting". If nothing else, I find parenting books helpful because they challenge me to look at how I am parenting and make me more observant and thoughtful about my choices.
Mackoff has a chapter that questions the reader to reflect on a daughter's temperament and personality. I found it very hard to categorize my daughters and so found subsequent references to be
Jan 08, 2009 Beth rated it really liked it
Most of the book was interesting, if not fascinating, and I agree that many of the parenting goals and strategies should apply to boys as well as girls.

Alas, I decided to stop reading on p. 223, the chapter "Study Science, Math and Technology." I'm afraid I find myself less interested in these subjects than in the psychological and interpersonal topics; which of course leads me to wonder how much my self-esteem and I, like so many other girls, apparently, have been tarnished, unknowlingly, by a
Sarah(All The Book Blog Names Are Taken)
First, the book was published in 1996, so it will come across as very dated because it is.

However, there are some things it still has going for it - the strategies and key ideas themselves are great takeaways. At several times the author also suggests several books to support these strategies - from positive heroines, to women in history and science.

Unfortunately, the anecdotes were beyond absurd. The one that sticks out to me above all others came early on when a little girl sat on her basketba
Dec 18, 2008 Cathy rated it liked it
I'm about 3/4 through and so far, I like it. I think the author is extremely heavy-handed in her feminist approach. It really reminds me of the 60's generation and seems, surprisingly, very retro. I think my generation has a more adaptive approach to most of the issues she mentions. We just assume there will be stereotypes and there will be reality and just because a lady in an ad looks some way does not mean we have to. The lines are just a lot more blurred than they used to be. So I have a bit ...more
Oct 02, 2016 Stephanie rated it did not like it
Shelves: parenting, nonfiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 13, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
The advice and anecdotes in this book will help you recognize the many teachable moments when it comes to talking to your daughter (or son!) about gender disparity and stereotypes that exist even in our modern world. The main message of this book is that individuals differences between kids are greater than the supposed differences between boys and girls, and that if we examine out loud the bias we see in media and models, we can equip our daughters with the observation and insight to recognize ...more
Sep 14, 2008 Sue rated it it was amazing
I loved "School Girls" by Peggy Orenstein, which exposed what culture and marketing do to our girls, but was left wanting more information about what to do about it. This book is the answer. I appreciate that author Dr. Barbara Mackoff gives specific, practical information, from examples about what a parent might say when her daughter asks why there hasn't been a woman president to lists of books to read with positive female characters.

I'm a stay-at-home mother and some feminist books either ig
Sep 16, 2008 Karen rated it liked it
Interesting book; some good take-aways to use with my own daughters (including recommended books). Improved my awareness about some of my behaviors and things for me to watch out for in my interactions with them (e.g., snarky comments about the Disney princesses might not be the best way to get my point across about why they are not good role models!). Also, found it heartening to see how much things have already changed since this was published in 1996 -- definitely don't see computers as being ...more
Jun 17, 2009 Kristi rated it liked it
More like 2 1/2 stars. Not bad. Not great. I read this book when I found out I was having a daughter and I was completely terrified. Boys I can handle. Girl...I freaked. It didn't do a lot, except help me accept that my daughter will like Cinderella and that's okay. But I can help her use her imagination to see how she could be better than Cinderella. More than anything it helped me feel more accepting of how my daughter would possibly behave and I felt more prepared for that.
Katelyn Patterson
Dec 20, 2011 Katelyn Patterson rated it it was amazing
Though it has some outdated information, this is a great read about what we can do as parents to keep from setting up a gender trap. As I read suggestions on how to bring up your daughter wearing gender glasses, I thought of how different my life might have been if my parents had been more mindful of these things. I can't wait to bring up our daughter talking about science and math, encouraging her to take a risk and make a mess, and also encouraging the nurturing kinds of play such as dolls.
Apr 30, 2009 Rachel is currently reading it
Now that I have two daughters, thought I might try not to screw them up any more than absolutely necessary. Already I have learned how not to invalidate my child's feelings with the usual mommy-responses. "How can you be hungry? You just ate!" or "You don't mean that. Of course you don't hate your sister." Get ready perfect childhood coming up! :-)
Apr 12, 2015 Wilhemina rated it liked it
I think the strategies described in the book are relevant and applicable when parenting boys and girls even today. The author has done a lot of research on the subject, which makes this book an excellent reference for people who are interested in the subject of equal parenting.
Jun 02, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
A little outdated, but full of interesting stories, things to watch out for and things to discuss with growing girls. Loved that she included stay at home moms as still being "equalist," without putting us down at all.
Jul 14, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it
It's a little outdated, being that it was written in 1998, before the digital age of Facebook and cyber-bullies. But in general, it gives good advice and strategies to raise a confidant girl who could rule the world and still be feminine.
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