Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters” as Want to Read:
Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  334 ratings  ·  55 reviews
A bold and timely work that "offers parents humor, understanding, parenting philosophy, and well-founded pearls of wisdom" (Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D., coauthor of Raising Cain).

Mary Pipher reveals to parents the problems girls face in Reviving Ophelia; now in Girls Will Be Girls, JoAnn Deak offers solutions.
Looking past the "scare" stories to those that enlighten parents
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 20th 2003 by Hachette Books (first published 2002)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Girls Will Be Girls, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Girls Will Be Girls

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  334 ratings  ·  55 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sep 05, 2009 rated it liked it
This book had a lot of good information - some of it new and some of it a good articulation of what I remember from my own childhood and adolescence. Her penchant for naming stages/issues/situations and labeling endlessly gets a little tiresome and her lack of supporting documentation/evidence is a concerning, but on the whole it's a good book to get any parent of daughters in a good mind frame to tackle the task. I like her pragmatic approach and validation of the different social/emotional sta ...more
Mar 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: girls, parenting
ok so I haven't read the whole thing, it is a tough read for me, I have fallen asleep nearly every attempt to go straight through it. But that said, I decided to skim it today before returning it to the library (after 2 months), and found some good info. But it is well hidden. I didn't want a college psychology course, just some good info and advice.
For my own reference, here are my notes:

*Be specific with praise (not "good girl")
*Use praise with punishment as a more complete discipline
*Adjust y
Oct 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
An engaging look at the physiological and psychological inner workings of a girl. Very insightful chapters on layering life experiences, mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters, society's expectations including girls being "pleasers" and the danger of that, and the magic of doing. Especially loved the Pearls of Wisdom summary boxes at the end of each chapter. Took to heart the advice that 2nd grade girls try out friends like flavors of the day (21-flavors Baskin Robbins), and why that is go ...more
Amy "Mrs. V" Velasco
i attended a seminar on the neurobiology of girls given by dr. deak in november 2007 and was enlightened and impressed. there is so much to know about the ways our brains function. she has specialized and written about adolescent neurobiology in particular, which is especially useful to me as i teach teenage girls. hearing and reading her, i also feel like i am learning about myself.
Shanna Mae
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book. It has lots of practical advice built on solid principles. Definitely would recommend. The only reason it is 4 stars rather than 5 is that the author attempts to incorporate science and even math without really seeming to understand what she is talking about (or at least she does not communicate her understanding of the complexity of the topics and gives a "popsci" feel to some parts)
LaDonna Harris
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that all mothers of girls needs to read! I wish I'd read it sooner, but I will definitely apply what I've learned going forward.
Mar 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a daughter or granddaughter, or any adult who works closely with girls
Shelves: 2008-and-earlier
To be honest, I never had the chance to finish reading this book. I got about halfway through before I needed to give it back to the woman who'd loaned it to me, and I haven't had the chance to revisit it.

I read through the author's analysis of pre-teens - tweens, she called them - and the information I read up to that point was interesting and enlightening. I was a young girl once, I was there, I lived through it. But my experience was and will be very different from my daughter's. I lived in a
Dec 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
I'm going to go ahead with my review even though I still have about 40 pages left...

I worry a lot about how to help my girls grow up to be strong and confident in today's world. I worry about losing touch with them when they become teens and I worry about how to still be a parent but to give them room to grow and develop their own opinons and strength and lives. I had hoped this book would teach me something about what I can expect and how to be a better parent for them-now and later.

Let me say
Jun 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: education
There are several gems of wisdom contained in this book. It can certainly help parents to refrain from being overly reactive; most situations, however emotionally charged they appear at the moment, do tend to resolve themselves. It can help parents to understand that quite often they should not resolve problems for their daughters but rather ask the right guiding questions to help them determine their own course. It can also help parents to identify where they might be on the spectrum of relatio ...more
Apr 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
Imagine sitting down with the earnest and apple-cheeked school counselor of your middle school. She reassures you that you're completely normal, makes a few embarrassing comments, pats your knee, and you leave rolling your eyes a little, but feeling like you can manage another day.

That's the tone of this book-- goofy platitudes and dumb alliterative mnemonics disguising quite a bit of good information on girls' social and emotional development.

It talks a little about young girls and their brain
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book has been rather instructive and enlightening! Having gone through this myself, I was able to reflect upon past stages of growth as well as work through my current stage of growth in the physical, emotional, and social arenas. Understanding the fundamental differences between the genders, understanding the impact parents and same sex friends have on one girl is so vital. These are the fundamental building blocks of a girl.

Until a girl is mentally and emotionally independent from her pa
Feb 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard JoAnn speak at a conference and thought she was quite brilliant (and very, very witty). Read part of this when I got it a few years ago and have now put it in the bathroom to be read in short stints.

Not the quickest way to read a book, but I found so much of this thought-provoking and useful. As the mother of a not always very confident young teen and dorm mother to scores of other girls over the years, I was eager to lap up all the suggestions. I loved the idea of the biking proj
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting, nonfiction
At times wordy and convoluted, still worth the read if you have girls. Some good issues to think about and be aware of, especially into the tween/teen years.
Dave Wiebe
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: child-rearing
I heard this author on a podcast say that she is always available for specific advice by email and she sounded pretty smart so I figured I'd read her book. It was good but not great. I liked the way she explains why you shouldn't discuss things when your emotions are running high. The part of your brain responsible for emotions was evolved to enable you to run from a bear and discussing anything during a bear attack is probably not a great idea, even if the bear attack is only an argument about ...more
Denise Kruse
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I accidentally checked out this book thinking it was going to be biographical, rather than clinical. Written in 2003, there is probably newer research. A bit long-winded … perhaps valuable to one who might feel stymied by the many issues around raising a strong, empowered (particularly pre-teen and teen) girl. My take away from this book is: don't do too much for her and really, really listen. Could easily apply to boys in the same age group, in my opinion.
Donna Lyn
Jul 19, 2009 rated it liked it
i finally finished this book!!! it was one that put me to sleep every night...but yet i gleaned a lot of good info. i would have liked to hear more resolutions...there were a lot of questions and good ones that came up but she didn't get into specifics of handling certain situations instead gave tools for any situation. so it was helpful but required more work on my part (thus the sleep induced coma i experienced with each chapter) :)
Judy McCarver
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I actually thought Dr. Deak did a good job of integrating her experience with lots and lots of adolescent girls with her practical knowledge and her ability to regurgitate that information. I liked this book a lot and though it is not a Christian based book about raising girls, it doesn't have to be if the message and the lessons are sound and practical. I found that for the most part, I was on the same page with her when it comes to raising daughters.
Sep 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinishable
I just couldn't make it through this one. I haven't had much time to read lately, and I've been renewing this from the library over and over. I gave up. It didn't interest me as much as I thougth it would, and the author's language got on my nerves. Maybe I'll return to it someday, since I hate leaving a book unfinished once I've read part of it. I just finished chapter 2 (I made it really far, didn't I?), so I'll pick up there someday . . . maybe.
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to find a book on what to emotionally and socially expect from my daughter as she grows so I can know what is normal, how to foster her growth, and when I need to call in for reinforcements. To my relief, I am no longer as leery about the tween and teenage years. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who has a daughter in the midst of "growing up". I will probably end up buying the book for my own reference (I borrowed it from the library for my first reading).
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Borrowed from the library but one I plan to buy and refer to often.

This book is the most insightful, thoughtful, realistic, and in a way, instructive book on raising girls I've read thus far. It needs an update, and a chapter on social media/internet/online bullying, but is otherwise the perfect guide to raising girls.

It covers ages 2 thru 20 and beyond. It deals with academic, social issues, family issues, health issues.

Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
It wasn't bad, but I can't recommend it either, although it would certainly be more relevant to parents of older girls (middle school and up). It tried to be too many things and ended up not being much at all. The best parts were the discussions of peer social structures and how to understand them at different ages. That should have been a book in itself, because the rest felt like fluff, and I learned very little from the book that I didn't already know on some level.
Aug 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
a lot of good material and sources, but a lot of common sense as well. good quick read. i had to read it for my school that I am working at, and it turned out to be worth it. sometimes attributed qualities only to girls that can be very strongly attributed to boys as well, and some biological assumptions pass over sociological possibilities, but in general, quite good.
Sep 21, 2009 rated it liked it
While it was a good reminder of how to be a good parent, I thought it applied to both girls and boys. I really didn't feel like I learned anything new, but I did like the reminder. One thing I didn't like was her writing style. She says "I'll address this later in the book a lot" and therefore the book felt very fragmented and didn't flow very well.
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic! Every parent, teacher, {insert title} that works with girls should read this book! It does more than explain the stages girls go through, it explains why they are necessary, and an important part of a girl's growth. Truly, this is a timeless book that can bring insight and clarity to any adult. I loved the chapters geared specifically to moms and one to dads.
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
A lot of good advice, especially for those of us without the perspective of having been a girl growing up. But, as this reviewer put it, the author's creative naming of developmental stages became a bit annoying, but was tolerable and applicable. Overall, it was informative and insightful.
Karen Wynder
May 04, 2013 rated it liked it
It wasn't as "humorous" as one comment claimed it to be, and it took me awhile to get into it. However, there are some excellent ideas I took away from it in regards to helping and loving a teenage girl. Although it was dry and a bit boring at times, I'm really grateful for the information I learned from it.
Dec 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Insightful and thought provoking. Would recommend to anyone who wants to push their daughters to be confident yet find a good balance. I will definitely want to revisit this book when my daughter is in her teens.
Kristin Lenz
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was recommended by my daughter's middle school. A reassuring read without the scare stories of books such as Queen Bees and Wannabes. I liked how she emphasized the importance of the 3 C's: confidence, competence, and connectiveness.
Sep 02, 2008 is currently reading it
I have heard the author speak and she will be coming to Dallas again this year. Very interesting information about the way we raise our daughters. Can't rate it yet as I am still in the middle of it.
Kortney Peagram
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must read! I deal with kids everyday but this book help me understand how we forget. Being a girl is hard and confusing in our society. This puts light to how to tackle those hard situation without feeling your a bad mom. Love it!
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Bringing Up Geeks: How to Protect Your Kid's Childhood in a Grow-Up-Too-Fast World
  • Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers from Pre-School to High School
  • Raising Resilient Children: Fostering Strength, Hope, and Optimism in Your Child
  • Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children
  • The Wonder of Girls: Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters
  • The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander
  • The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence
  • Breaking the Good Mom Myth: Every Modern Mom's Guide to Getting Past Perfection, Regaining Sanity, and Raising Great Kids
  • Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween
  • The Drama Years: Real Girls Talk About Surviving Middle School -- Bullies, Brands, Body Image, and More
  • The Parents We Mean To Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children's Moral and Emotional Development
  • The Mother-Daughter Project: How Mothers and Daughters Can Band Together, Beat the Odds, and Thrive Throughadolescence
  • Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times
  • Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes
  • Covenant Motherhood
  • Freeing Your Child from Anxiety
  • Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Understanding the Crucial Link Between Mothers, Daughters, and Health
  • I'd Listen to My Parents If They'd Just Shut Up: What to Say and Not Say When Parenting Teens
See similar books…