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Several years ago, at the suggestion of my grandpa, I picked up the book Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James C. Dobson. At the time, almost everything I read revolved around parenting. Parenting girls, parenting strong-willed children, parenting young children, parenting school-aged children, parenting magazines, parenting books. You name it, I probably read it. Certain that I would damage my children, I devoured just about everything I could get my hands on that would make me a better parent.
I still read parenting books every now and then, but since I’ve been reading so much lately, I tend to vary the genres I focus on these days.
Bringing Up Girls is one of those books that you should read over and over again. It’s one of those books that needs to remain fresh in your mind as you raise your girls, lest you forget something important.
One thing that continues to linger from Dobson’s book, though, is the importance of etiquette in the lives of young girls as well as the importance of affirmation from not just the mother but also from a father or father figure to these young girls. Dobson elaborated on this, describing etiquette classes and affirmation dinners with the daughter and her father/father figure.
Thus, How to Be God’s Little Princess Class was born.
In the last few years, I have hosted How to Be God’s Little Princess classes at my church for girls entering kindergarten through fifth grade. Using Sheila Walsh’s How to Be God’s Little Princess, we spend each week discussing the importance of different aspects of etiquette, self-care, and care of others, from table manners to appropriate dress.
I love this resource.
But as a mom, it would have been nice to have a resource–a companion book or a leadership guide–to help me walk through the course better instead of doing so much reading from the book.
This year, that resource came along, and it’s called Raising a Young Modern-Day Princess by Doreen Hanna & Karen Whiting.
Raising a Young Modern-Day Princess is not just a great companion guide for my How to Be God’s Little Princess classes. In fact, it can integrate with the class in many different ways and even adds to it.
In each chapter, authors Doreen Hanna and Karen Whiting include a fruit of the spirit that needs to be developed inside our daughters, and throughout each chapter readers are instructed how to instill these fruits. But that’s not even the best part. My favorite parts of this book are actually at the back of each chapter. Yes, there are some fabulous activities that your little princess can do to learn different types of etiquette in collaboration with the fruit of the spirit. But most importantly, Hanna and Whiting provide tools and activities for both moms and dads to try with their daughters or to do for their daughters.
It’s not enough that parents tell their children what to do. They also have to model right behavior. As much as my husband likes to deny it, “Do as I say, not as I do,” just does not work.
Walking alongside our daughters or modeling behaviors for them will reinforce the points we are trying so hard to teach. And in all ten chapters, Hanna and Whiting provide countless ideas. There’s no longer an excuse that you don’t know what to do; it’s provided for you.
And–if you can believe it–it gets even better.
After determining what “type” of princess you have early on the book, readers are given specific tips based on their daughter’s “type,” that will help parents understand what works best for their daughters. After all, every child is different, and one thing often does not work for all. Tailoring your approach specifically for your daughter will not just help you bond with her but will also help solidify your teaching.
Raising a Young Modern-Day Princess didn’t take very long to read, because most of the book is filled with tips and tools to help you instill values in our daughters. All of the information within the book is good, but the value of the ideas provided definitely makes the book. This is one of those that will be on my shelf until my daughters have their own children–one that will hopefully be dog-eared by then from having used it. That’s the best kind of book to have.