Raising Girls – A Review

I’ve just finished reading Gisela Preuschoff’s Raising Girls. Preuschoff is a psychologist and family therapist. The earlier chapters trace the developmental changes in girls, exploring why girls are different, their emotional world, and offers some thoughts on how parents could go about developing their relationship with their daughter/s in the earliest months and years. Two further chapters explore issues of social conditioning, and education (this was the most disappointing chapter).

In the final two chapters, Preuschoff turns the spotlight onto questions of family dynamics, the teenage years, peer relationships, communication styles, and self-esteem.

One of the real strengths of the book is its discouragement of a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, an approach all-to-commonly repeated. Rather, Preuschoff encourages parents to really get to know their daughters, identify and encourage their strengths and passions. I most appreciated this.

To be honest, however, I found the book overall a weak compliment to its cousin Raising Boys. My main disappointment with the book (and it is certainly not unique here) is that I felt that it was written to mums rather to dads. Dads, of course, get the obligatory 2-3 pages, but that’s about it. I’d be keen to hear how other dads found this book.

That said, it was worth reading, and I will devote the next few posts to sharing some thoughts/quotations from it.


  1. Jason,

    Thanks for this review. I’m about 3/4 through this book at the moment and I have linked to your review from my sidebar.

    While reading this book, I have at times found myself saying, ‘well I could have written that!’ That is, I guess I have not found much of the book to be enlightening at all. There are few parts where I’ve found myself saying, ‘Oh, I didn’t think of that’, or, ‘that’s useful information’. Mostly the book has been helpful in reminding and reinforcing existing assumptions or knowledge.

    I think what I enjoy most about reading this book is the imagery it helps to create in my mind. As the father of three boys who was also grew up with only brothers, having a daughter is something I have been looking forward to for a very long time. Creating images in my mind of my daughter and my relationship to her is something I have been doing for quite some time. It will be good to finally meet her so I can do away with this fantasy child.

    Thanks again for your review.


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