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I’ve got a book that you need (or one like it): Ginny Olson’s Teenage Girls: Exploring Issues Adolescent Girls Face and Strategies to Help Them. Recently Kris and I were at a store, we went to the counter, and I observed on the wrist of the 20-yr old young woman slash marks: “Cutting,” I said to myself. Are you noticing this?
Every parent needs one book that gives the basic information about “issues” with daughters. This is that kind of book. My wife, Kris, has looked through it and recommends it. Also, if you work with young women, this is a book for you.
Now back to our experience at the store….
When I got home I went to Ginny’s book to her chapter on “Self-Injury” to see what she said and young women. Cutting is when a girl inflicts injury on herself to ease an emotional or mental state. 1% of the population has done this and is growing among teenage girls (like the one we saw). Cutting creates a sense of numbness, giving the feeling of almost being distanced from their own bodies on which they are expressing themselves. Ginny then gives some suggestions (and the book is designed for youth workers but all parents are “youth workers” in some sense) on the role that can be played by parents in listening and learning to help their daughters.
Well, that’s but one example. She covers all the following:
Identity matters
Body issues
Dating matters
Sex matters
Emotional matters
Brain matters
Family matters
Friendship matters
Faith matters
Here’s what I think parents might like most about this book: Ginny doesn’t tell you how to “fix” problems but how to hear the problem and what are some possible strategies that can be explored. In other words, she might help parents understand their daughters and help them out by learning more about what makes them tick.
And did I mention the prose was clear? And that there is not too much information but just enough?

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