From Daughter to Woman by Kim McCabe has been sent to me this week for review and for me to participate in my first ever blog tour and author interview. It’s blurb promises to help a mother guide their daughter successfully through the difficult teenage years and out into the big wide world. As the mother of a pre-teen I was looking forward to reading this. My nine year old seems to be practising for the teenage years already; she certainly has the attitude of a teenager! I wondered if there were any tips that would be helpful for me put into place before we reached the teenage years.
What is the book about?
From daughter to woman draws on McCabe’s experience as a counsellor for distressed teenagers and as a mother to three daughters. She gives advice on everything from periods to body image. The is split into three sections:
- Part I: Your preteen and the approach to puberty
- Part II: The chaos of adolescence
- Part III: Building her tribe of support, including herself
Obviously the preteen section was most relevant to me and I found it quite an interesting read. It left me with a lot of food for thought and raised some issues I hadn’t even thought about. It really challenged me to think about the fact that my daughter’s perception of what a woman is will be based on how she sees me act as a woman. It has made me really reflect on whether I am acting like the woman I want my daughter to be. It was a tough question to consider and something I will take forward with me as I continue on this wacky parenting journey.
Another thing that I will take from this book is the idea of ‘date nights’ with my daughter. It seemed strange to me at first but it makes sense when you think about it. Any relationship requires effort to be successful and that includes your relationship with your children. I am already really close to Lottie but I think frequent dates where the focus is purely on the two of us will be a really great thing to put in place and keep as she gets older. I hope it will allow us to keep that close bond.
I also keenly read the chapter on periods. When I started my own I was too embarrassed to tell my mum and used tissues. I swore then I would never have the sort of relationship with any daughter I had. I was quite pleased that actually more or less everything Kim talks about in this chapter is something I already do. We naturally talk about these things when they come up in conversation. I’ve never gone out of my way to have these conversations but when questions have been asked I’ve answer them.
Another section I found valuable was looking at a teenagers sense of self worth. We live in a rapidly changing world and our teenagers grow up with the pressures of social media. I work in a school, so I know that social media is a huge thing for most teenagers, and for so many of them their sense of worth is based on how many friends they have on Facebook, or how many likes their picture gets on Instagram. It’s a sad place to be, and in a few years time when Lottie gets there it will probably be worse still. Reading this book has given me some ideas of how to affirm to Lottie that her sense of worth is based on so much more than social media stats and I am going to do everything in my power to make sure she grows up always knowing this.
I’ve found this book overall to be a really good read. Like all books offering parenting advice not everything in it is going to be relevant to you, or be something you want to implement into your parenting. There is a lot of advice in there, and some of it I’ll disregard but other things I will take away and use. One of the things I did like about this book is that it isn’t patronising. It’s well written, mentions some taboo subjects clearly and in a matter of fact way, and doesn’t come across as judgemental either. Some parenting books can leave you feeling like the worse parent ever but never once did I feel that whilst reading this.
And I would definitely recommend the book. So much so that I’ve actually passed it on to a friend of mine who has three daughters aged between 9-13. She is currently reading it and like me is taking things from it, incidentally not the same things that I have. I will no doubt want to read it again as we hit some of the milestones mentioned in the book. Teenage years seem a long way off but they will come quickly!
Who is the author?
Kim McCabe, author of From Daughter to Woman, is the founder of Rites for Girls. As the originator and facilitator of Girls Journeying Together groups, she offers guidance to preteen and teen girls and simultaneous support for their mothers. In training other women to facilitate these groups, her dream is that every girl grows up expecting to be supported and celebrated in adolescence. Kim was commissioned to write a section in Steve Biddulph’s latest best-selling book, 10 Things Girls Need Most: To Grow Up Strong and Free.
Kim is a home-educating mother of two boys, one girl, two cats and a colony of aloe vera plants; she is wife to a Kiwi, daughter to itinerant parents, friend to a cherished few, and lover of time alone, too. She lives in the Ashdown Forest in Sussex. She sometimes shouts at her children, accidentally steps on the cat’s tail and forgets to water the plants, but she loves her work, her family and her life. She has always had deep affinity with teenage girls, and by sharing her wisdom and compassion she infects the reader with her enthusiasm for this life stage.
An interview with the author:
- Do you read reviews about your books? If so, do you find the bad ones hard to handle?
So, it would depend how the review is written. If I can learn something or be encouraged to think differently as a result of reading a review, that’s great even if it’s hard to read at first.
- What was your favourite book as a teenager?
Pick just one? Don’t do that to me! Here’s two but even that was hard.
Judy Blume ‘Are you there, God, it’s me Margaret’
Jean Webster ‘Daddy-Long-Legs’
- Who is your favourite fictional character?
- Where do you go to do your writing? Is that a particular place that inspires you?
I do much of my writing in my campervan while I wait for our children to do whatever I’ve driven them to. I love my campervan, it’s my space, a room to call my own. I’ve got everything I need here (yup, I’m writing this in my camper).
My inspiration comes from having some precious time to write (a powerful motivator when time is scarce) and from my mission to make the lives for girls that bit kinder, safer and better supported as they grow up.
- What do you hope that your readers will get from reading From Daughter to Woman?
I don’t want parents to dread the teen years, or their children to either. It can be such a precious time of adventure and unfolding, but it’s a vulnerable time too. I want to give parents guidance and practical tools to help them to stay connected to their teen as she also gains greater independence, so they can guide her through adolescence; and the words to talk about some of the sensitive things.
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