Parenting is a lot of things, but it is never simple and never easy. It’s complicated, stressful, and often overwhelming, especially with daughters.
Raising young girls into strong, confident, capable, and happy young women is a challenge, to say the least. But it’s also not something any parent can or should do alone. Thankfully there are tools and support systems in place to help you raise your daughters, and there are essential books that can help guide you in your daughter’s growth.
Whether we’re talking about the physical changes your daughter is going through (ugh, puberty) or the mental health and social-emotional development that takes place, daughters need support, and parents need guidance.
These three books offer invaluable expert insight, useful tips, and accessible advice to help raise daughters in 2022. After all, being a girl is more challenging than ever; being a parent raising those girls is more challenging than ever, and we could all use any help we can get. And if you’re pressed for time and realistically don’t have time to devour book after book, many of them are also available as audiobooks
Queen Bees and Wannabes, 3rd Edition: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boys, and the New Realities of Girl World
by Rosalind Wiseman
This book, originally published more than 15 years ago and recently revamped and updated for modern parenting, inspired the movie Mean Girls. That should tell you all you need to know. In this book, Wiseman lets parents in on the super complicated, often secretive world of teenage girls – friendships, drama, cliques, boys, sex, popularity, etc. Wiseman breaks down each person’s role in a clique (the Queen Bee, the Wannabe, etc.) and how these power plays impact young girls as they grow and figure out who they want to be. And the book isn’t just eye-opening (slash terrifying for parents); it also encourages parents to “check their baggage” and think about how their own experiences and biases impact their daughters. It then goes one step further and offers tips, scripts, and bulleted lists to help parents apply what they learn.
Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy, and Fulfilling Lives
by Rachel Simmons
Many young girls (and adults) struggle with self-criticism and never feeling like they are good enough. This book addresses that inherent fear of failure and the feeling that, as a young girl, you are never smart enough/pretty enough/successful enough/thin enough, etc. Author Rachel Simmons shares research-based advice on raising a generation of resilient women and practicing self-compassion instead of self-criticism. She offers practical advice to teach girls how to manage overthinking, focus on self-worth instead of perfection, and seek support when they need it.
by Peggy Orenstein
Teenage girls often exhibit erratic and hard-to-understand behavior – this book tries to explain that behavior and let parents know what to expect, what’s normal, what’s concerning, and when it’s time to really worry. The New York Times Bestseller is a bestseller for a reason. This guide isn’t just informative; it also helps parents connect with their daughters and better understand what is going on inside their daughters’ minds so they can better relate and empathize. It’s also hopeful; not all teenage girls are miserable, and no, it’s not just your child acting that way. Psychologist Lisa Damour provides easy-to-understand advice that all parents need to hear and benefit from.