Yes. What exactly am I doing reading Raising a Modern-Day Princess? If you know me, you know our home houses only the male variety of offspring. I am lacking a princess. I read this out of mere curiosity as to what authors Pam Farrel and Dorren Hanna had to say about raising girls in today’s day and age. For me, it was utter fascination that initially drove me to the book (after all, I AM a girl and I’m curious to know what messages girls of today are being fed). For the most part, I just rely on those of you who do have girls to tell me what it’s like raising those like ourselves. Being female, I declared I only ever wanted to have boys when I was a parent myself! I just seemed easier.
I cracked open Raising a Modern-Day Princess and began reading the personal stories of Farrel and Hanna which helped drive them to write this book. I thought I would enjoy the book just from a “I got to know these authors a little better” perspective. Then they started talking about how this book is beneficial from a mentor perspective. Now, I’m currently not mentoring anyone that I know of, nor do I have any potentials waiting in the sidelines. However, I do know some teenage girls and, that not being my favorite phase of life, I typically avoid them. (True confessions.)
However, this book really challenged me to wake up and remember how much I appreciated the attention of adults when I was a tween/teen. It reminded me of how much the simplest compliment ever given to me would carry me for months. People’s positive comments and affirmations helped to shape me and keep me out of harm and out of trouble. Knowing that I had parents who loved me dearly and that I had a community that supported me was incomprehensibly valuable to me. Quite simply, it meant everything. As a result, I had a rather mellow growing up experience and any stressed emotions I felt were the results of hormones gone wild and nothing more. For the most part, they stayed in check. I was loved and that is something that I have learned not to take for granted.
Authors Farrel and Hannah talk about the importance of teaching young girls to become young ladies in Raising a Modern-Day Princess. They don’t say so outright, but I do think it’s true that teenage girls are scary creatures and therefore need extra special attention (as do boys, but for different reasons). To help build a sense of self-worth and value in a girl, you need to teach her that she has it. She needs to be taught that God created her with purpose and pleasure and she should be allowed to delight in her femininity. That’s a hard message to get through to girls these days. I doubted it when I was a girl and I really had no good reason to!
I think there is a place for Raising a Modern-Day Princess on bookshelves today. I might not agree with everything that they said or their manner of presentation, but the authors of this book share something in common: 1. They are both females who remember their own childhood and 2. have a heart to protect and provide emotional stability for young girls today. Theirs is a message worth listening to – no matter the gender of your own children.