cover image Parent Like It Matters: How to Raise Joyful, Change-Making Girls

Parent Like It Matters: How to Raise Joyful, Change-Making Girls

Janice Johnson Dias. Ballantine, $27 (256p) ISBN 978-1-9848-1962-8

“Raising a child demands imagination and flexibility,” advises sociologist Johnson Dias (Affirming Beauty) in this empowering guide to finding the joy in raising daughters. In four parts (“Who is Your Girl?”; “Who Are You?”; “What is Her World?”; and “Change-Maker”) the author presents a program for “raising self-realized girls,” sharing research by psychologists and pediatricians along the way. In order to help girls become confident agents of change, Johnson Dias writes, parents must help their children determine “who they will be” and cut through cultural conceptions about what girls can be. Assignments appear throughout, such as “make a mirror that reflects your girl,” in which a child and her parents write adjectives on a mirror as a “reminder of who she really is.” She also suggests helping fuel girls’ imaginations by letting children make their own decisions about the kinds of books they want to read. Along with her tips, the author weaves her story as a mother of a teenage daughter who is also an activist and writer. Johnson Dias’s forthright advice successfully calls upon parents to join their girls in creating the changes they wish to see. Her wide-ranging guidance shouldn’t be missed. Agent: Regula Noetzli, Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (Mar.)