Tired of book reviews yet? I still have a few more.
I've seen these two books by Dr. Meg Meeker reviewed and discussed in several places, none of which spring to mind right now. I finally decided to check them out.
Although I am linking to the Catholic Company's website, these books are secular in nature. She does discuss the importance of religion in raising children (children need answers, you, the parent need to provide them), but she doesn't say which one (she does say at one point that her parents are Catholic, but she does not herself claim a religion in this book). I would also like to point out that although she discusses in great depth the effect that peers and traditional schooling have on a child, she does not once ever mention the word homeschooling or suggest alternative methods of education. And her opinions, though conservative, are backed up with statistics and her personal experience as a pediatrician.
I say this for those readers of mine who are not Catholic or not homeschoolers or not conservative politically, because I want my next statement to be heard with some understanding that this person is not advocating my personal lifestyle, wonderful though it is.
Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is an absolute must read for anyone who has a daughter or anyone who has sons who may one day marry someone else's daughter. (I will say, though, that if you only have sons, perhaps just borrowing the book would be smarter.) Since my daughters are still young, I have yet to navigate those dreaded waters of adolescence. After reading this book, I'm not sure if I fear those years even more, or if I'm happy to now have a better understanding of the issues girls growing up today face.
Although this book is addressed to fathers, and their central role in a girl's life is the primary theme, mothers need to read this book too. If you are a single mother, this book will show you what your daughter is missing and the pitfalls for which she is at risk. For me, listening to my 8 year old constantly moaning about her father being gone was beginning to annoy me, but I now have a greater empathy for what she is experiencing, and I try harder to be kinder when she is feeling low (which is every night right after bedtime).
While Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters details the issues of eating disorders, suicide, and teen sex, Boys Should Be Boys has some funny anecdotes. Why is it that boys are funnier than girls? In my house it seems to be that the girls are all about drama, and the boys are all about comedy. Boys Should Be Boys is not all fun and games, though, and Dr. Meeker repeats many of the same, depressing teen statistics that she did in her first book. The bottom line is that the older any child is before he or she gets involved in risky behavior (sex, drugs, and alcohol), the greater the likelihood that he or she will successfully achieve adulthood without needing serious counseling or a few months in a detox center.
Both Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters and Boys Should Be Boys are excellent books that will arm parents with the knowledge they need to raise children in a very child-unfriendly world. I highly recommend them both.
Disclaimer: I happily forked over my husband's hard earned money for these books. I received no compensation of any kind, although it is never too late and I'd be happy to help someone think of something.