Swimming Upstream by Laura Hensley Choate
|Author||Laura Hensley Choate|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press, USA|
|Category||Family & Relationships|
|Language||English, Spanish, and French|
Many of today's parents struggle with their approach in raising a healthy daughter within our complex culture. Never before have girls been faced with so many pressures to live up to confusing and often contradictory cultural expectations. These burdens are intense, newly evolving, and are affecting girls at earlier and earlier ages. As girls of all ages listen to the messages of popular culture, they gather that their worth is based upon a perfect appearance, the ability to gain attention and approval from others, and their accrual of accomplishments. As girls absorb these expectations, they begin to believe they are not good enough as they are. They are not able to develop an authentic sense of self because they lose themselves in trying to become what the culture dictates. It is not surprising that with all of these pressures, girls are experiencing stress, emptiness, and skyrocketing rates of mental health problems. Parents know that something is very wrong with today's culture, but they can't quite put a name on the problem. Many feel helpless as popular cultural influences pervade modern life at every turn. This book, however, provides parents with reassurance that their influence can make a significant difference in their daughters' development. Parents are empowered to make positive choices to help girls learn to resist cultural pressures and to successfully navigate the transitions they will face in their journey as girls in today's culture. Written in an engaging, practical style, Laura Choate draws from research and counseling literature to provide parents with tools they can use to teach their daughters the power of resilience. The book begins with a portrait of the contemporary adolescent girl's environment, including an in-depth exploration of cultural pressures and an overview of how these pressures influence girls' physical, cognitive, and social development. In the second part of the book, parents learn about five resilience dimensions that girls need not only to survive, but to thrive as they develop during girlhood and adolescence. Practical tools for instilling resilience regarding girls' positive body image, healthy relationships with friends and romantic partners, and management of high-pressure academic environments through a redefinition of what it means to be successful are all discussed extensively.