Cherishing Our Daughters: How Parents Can Raise Girls to Become Strong and Loving Women

Evelyn Bassoff, Author
Evelyn Bassoff, Author Dutton Books $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-525-94014-2
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
Bassoff (Mothers and Daughters: Loving and Letting Go), a psychologist and columnist for Parents magazine, writes gracefully from both a personal and a professional perspective on the topic of raising a daughter (she is also the mother of a son). Garnishing her text with insight culled from her life, her practice and such divergent sources as studies on gender, Chinese proverbs and Navajo rites, Bassoff creates a solid, compassionate work that focuses on what parents (and especially mothers) can do to help their daughters grow into emotionally healthy, satisfied adults. Primary among mothers' goals, she suggests, are to instill confidence in their daughters and to keep them safe without overprotecting them. She also stresses the importance of fathers, grandparents and other role models, as well as connections to faith and/or ethnic roots in shaping a girl's outlook. While acknowledging that girls are likely to confront violence, sexism and bigotry, Bassoff remains upbeat. Rather than rail against men or society, she suggests--and urges parents to develop--constructive methods and attitudes. If Bassoff's apparently limitless patience with her own children may sometimes seem daunting, the manner in which she cherishes her children provides practical as well as inspirational reading for parents. (Jan.)
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