Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"Best Friends and Mean Girls" {Book review and Giveaway}

book title front   I was recently asked to review a set of books to help we Mom's as we parent our daughters through their tween years. The author of the books is Dannah Gresh (with Suzy Weibel joining her on the "Girl's Guide"), and since I really truly enjoyed and appreciated Dannah's book on parenting tween (8-12 year olds) boys I was eager to read this book as well.

   This book is written differently than "6 ways to keep the "good" in your Boy", I believe that one is more like her "6 ways to keep the "Little" in your Girl" (which I haven't read), This book - "Talking with Your Daughter about Best Friends and Mean Girls" is more like a manual. It has plans for "8 Great Dates" that you are supposed to take with your daughter. It also has memory verses planned out, devotions to use and even scripted (on your part - not your daughter) discussions to have.

  The subject matter discussed is very good. Some of it I haven't dealt with either with my daughters nor did I deal with it growing up, I think the reason being because both I and my daughters are/were homeschooled and we have lived much more sheltered lives. That in my book is a plus of homeschooling! However there were many things that she talks about that is applicable to any girl. Throughout the book she encourages the memorizing of 1 Corinthians 13 and encourages actions to go along with those thoughts on love. 

   There were things that I really liked about this book and others that really weren't my style. I thought I would share a quick list of pros and cons in my opinion:


  • Emphasis on spending time with God. It made me realize my need to encourage my children in personal devotion time a little more.
  • Encouraging scripture memorization and study. God's word is what we truly need to help us through life.
  • Practical advice on modesty. I love her non-condemning but very strait forward modesty tests that she encourages girls to run their clothes through. She makes it fun and simple. I might prefer a little stricter standards in one area but mostly I thought they were very good.
  • Encouraging close and good relationships with other girls.
  • Encouraging girls to be a friend and choose friends that will help them stand up for what is right.
  • Practical advice on boys (which she spells boyz -which for some reason irritates me)- encouraging girls to put off having boyfriends until they are a good deal older than being a tween. I thought her approach on this was good. It isn't quite the same as mine but very practical.
  • Good thoughts on cell phones for kids.

  • Going on dates. I love spending time with my children and I love having one on one time too. However the whole date thing seems weird to me. I am not sure why, but it does. I guess I prefer our time one on one to be a little more spontaneous - a walk with Mara to see some new beauty in nature that God is displaying today or perhaps time spent with Megan while we work on a craft. So, dates aren't my thing - but perhaps they are yours.
  • Scripted discussions. If you want for me to have a very stilted conversation just give me a script. I have tried using that sort of thing for teaching kid's classes at church and they just don't work for me. I prefer to talk naturally using my own words - and we do talk. We have talked about the majority of the topics in the book as they come up naturally in our discussions. That again is one of the benefits of homeschooling - we have so much more time for talking.
  • Some weird spellings and other "cool" modes of speech. I guess I am old fashioned.
So, for me this wasn't a book that I was going to use as it was written to be used but I did still enjoy reading through it and think that I learned some stuff from it and was reminded of other things that I should think about while raising my daughters.

book title front
 The book "Talking with your daughters about Best Friends and Mean Girls" has some removable worksheets in the back to use on your dates and there is a book that is just for the girls to go with the one for moms. That book is called "A Girls Guide to Best Friends and Mean Girls".  It is a fun easy to read book that talks about being a friend, encourages time with Jesus, our best friend and the book is filled with games, fill in the blank and other fun things for girls. There is also a focus on looking to the scripture for answers.

So as I said before I think these are nice books with a good message and I think that many moms and daughters would gain a lot from going through them. The way it is done is not my style but I am different from any other mom I know (we all are unique) and I think this would be great for some moms.


Does this sound like something that would be helpful to you and your daughter (or maybe you know somebody else that could use it)?  I have the opportunity to give away both of these books to some blog reader.

 If you would like to win please leave a comment including your e-mail address. In your comment I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject matter of these books.

 If you would like a second chance at winning then please become a follower of my blog or subscribe via e-mail and then leave another comment telling me that you do so.

 This giveaway will go through October 5th.

Disclaimer: I was given these books for purposes of reviewing. The thoughts written are my own.

 AND THE WINNER IS: Joanna. Congratulations!


Tiffany M. said...

As the mom of an 8 year old daughter, I am always on the lookout for tips :) Thanks for the chance to win..


JoannaTopazT said...

I really enjoyed her book about How to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl and would find this one helpful, too, as my daughter approaches turning 8 next year. I found her modesty tests helpful but easy for kids and like that this new one seems to have emphasis on friendships, which is an important area for girls of this age.

JoannaTopazT at gmail dot com

angie said...

My daughter is encountering some trials with 'mean girls' so I would be interested in how Dannah suggests to handle these. I agree with you on scripted conversations. But they may be a springboard for more personal talks with my 11 yo daughter.
Thanks for the giveaway!


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