Below are some of the key passages and
Below are some of the key passages and
quotes from the book that make important points. The author states that girls
know that they are losing themselves citing one of the girls that said,
“Everything good in me died in junior high (P. 24).” It is a clear indication
that some of the problems that the girls face are because of the challenges and
contradictions that come with adolescents. At times, the girls need the right
form of guidance and the necessary tools to be assertive and overcome then
challenges that they face. Building the defense mechanisms for the girls from
negative influence is an attribute that they all need to attain, and that is
possible through ensuring that they get the necessary skills. It also means
girls at the adolescent age are not at times intentionally defiant or rather do
not make a conscious decision to engage in some of the activities, and behavior
hence can be helped to come out of the behaviors or negative changes that
Dr. Mary Pipher brings out a critical
aspect of the girl’s relationships with their fathers and on their engagement
on sex. She reiterates that her client Holly was vulnerable to a common mistake
that other teenagers get into which is that she used her sexuality in pursuit
of love. The book states, “she needed affection, not sex, and most of all she
needed affection from her father (P. 207).” It was an important point in
emphasizing the role that fathers play in the growth of the teenage girls. It
stressed the need for the fathers to be more involved in the lives of their
adolescent girls by making them feel loved and wanted so that she may not
engage in other dangerous behaviors such as sexual relationships in pursuit of
feeling loved and affection meant to be provided by the fathers. Having a
father figure in the life of an adolescent is, therefore, critical.
On the issue of the effect of divorce
on the children, Dr. Mary Pipher states that contrary to her thinking that a
divorce is better than an unhappy marriage, she realized that most children do
not understand whether their parents were happy or not. However, she states,
“divorce shatters many children (P. 222).” It changes the perception of a
divorce in a family since every parent needs to have the interests of the
children at heart when making such life changing decisions. Moreover, with the
increasing number of divorces and separation among families in the contemporary
society, it could be an explanation for the increased deviance and negative
changes witnessed among the adolescent girls. The parents in every household
with an adolescent child should, therefore, consider the effects it may have on
the children before reaching such a decision for divorce.
“To keep their true selves and grow
into healthy adults, girls need love from family and friends, meaningful work,
respect, challenges and physical and psychological safety (P. 483).” The
statement is an illumination of the need to address and treat the girls with
respect and honor as the boys are treated. It reiterates on the value of
affection and support for the adolescent girls so that they can be able to grow
and develop to independent and self-reliant individuals and hence become more
resilient to negative influences. They need equal opportunities to assert
themselves and be who and want they want to be just as the boys are accorded
“It’s important for parents to watch
for trouble and convey to their daughters that, if it comes, they are strong
enough to deal with it (P.486).” It is a crucial observation by the author
since the girls are mostly reliant on the parents for support and the words or
the way the parents treat them is bound to reflect in the way they treat
themselves. If the girls are aware that they can handle any form of pressures,
they are bound to assert themselves and develop a sense of self-worth and
personal identity that is essential to assisting them defend themselves from
any negative influences.
The book was an important piece that
illuminates the plight of the girls in the contemporary society. It offers the
compelling explanation as to the reasons behind the fact that girls experience
a time of turbulence, pain, anger, discord, and other negative changes during
adolescence. The book, however, offers an excellent insight into the need for
the parents to get more involved in parenting. Parenting an invaluable part of
the child during childhood and most importantly during adolescents. I learned
that the girls are in need of their parents to offer affection, support, and
exude confidence in them so that they can develop their self-identity and
confidence. The contemporary society, however, presents a tough time with more
parents less involved and hence offering little or no support or trust for the
girls and with the increased number of divorces that adversely affect the
children. When dealing with girls that suffer from the effects of the negative
changes that they experience during adolescence such as depression, attempted
suicides, and other delinquent behaviors, it is important to offer social,
emotional, and psychological support for them. Health professional should
always consider therapy besides any clinical interventions they provide the
adolescents. The educators should also play a role in displaying the need to
empower and offer equal opportunities for the girls to assert and build their
self-image to enable them to be in control of their lives and develop their
coping mechanisms to the external pressure that comes with adolescence.
Some of the key suggestions that are
important to help in reducing the [problems facing the girls are: Parents
should be encouraged to offer support, love, and respect and accord the
necessary confidence in their girls (P.486). The girls need to feel that they
are capable of handling things on their own and are the work of the parents to
ensure they make the girls aware of their ability to overcome negative
challenges they face. Having the girls aware that they have their support;
parents enable the girls to face the challenges coming with adolescents with
increased confidence and build their personal image that is key to enabling
them to say no to negative influences.
The parents also need to learn to
remain calm and patient with their children (p. 486). Having the parents
reassuring the girls even in the case that seems bleak enables them to be more
confident in their ability to overcome the challenges. Furthermore, it
maintains the confidence and openness of the girls and the adults and hence are
bound to speak out and seek help in case of difficult situations and hence the
parents or other adults can offer the necessary direction and guidance to the
Parents should also foster good
communication between them and their girls (p. 487). It is because, having good
communication with the adolescents offers platform for rational thought that
also encourages conscious choices for the girls. It is the crucial opportunity
to get to understand the risks that face the girls ad also the choices that
they have to understand and support them. It is crucial in building the
confidence of the girls in their parents and other adults and hence can listen
to them and now that they have the support of the parents. Poor communication
may lead to more irrational decision making leading to risky behavior and other
negative changes in the girls.
The parents should also encourage their
girls to have friends of both sexes (p. 490). It is important that the girls
take the relationships between a boy and a girl as natural and just like any
other relationship that does not need to be sexualized. It is a crucial way for
the girls to have the relationships in the knowledge of the parents so that the
parents can support and guide them. Making a big deal out of boy-girl
relationships may make the girls more curious and believe that the
relationships have to be sexualized so that they can thrive. However, forming
and maintaining the friendships with boys from a young age may make the girls
appreciate that such relationships are natural and do not have to be sexual in
nature to thrive.
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