Book Review – From Daughter to Woman by Kim McCabe

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As the mother of an eight year old (going on 14) daughter, conflict is no stranger to our household.  When an email dropped into my Inbox offering me the chance to review Kim McCabe’s new book, From Daughter to Woman, I’m sure you can imagine my reaction.  So what did I think and will I be taking any tips from Kim?

From Daughter to Woman

Blurb

A timely and powerful guide exploring how we can best navigate the teen years and support girls through the defining and exciting adolescent phase, from Rites for Girls founder Kim McCabe.

Divided into three parts, Kim’s book starts with the approach of puberty, proceeds through the chaos of adolescence, and finishes with building her tribe of self-support and a celebration of the young woman-to-be. Kim shows how mothers can guide their daughters, from how to lay good foundations for healthy relationships through the teen years, to figuring out who they are and managing their moods.

The book includes four sections: speaking directly to the girls, giving mothers the language to talk about puberty, periods, romance and depression. It ends with a how-to guide for creating a rite of passage to celebrate a girl’s coming of age.

From Daughter to Woman is available as an eBook and paperback from Amazon UK and paperback from Waterstones.

About the author

As a mother of three teenagers and founder of Rites for Girls, Kim McCabe was prompted into action from her experience in counselling distressed teenagers.

The teenage years are tough.  However, teens who get the right guidance can journey safely through, learning by their mistakes, while avoiding the worst excesses.  Sadly, the statistics show that many girls aren’t thriving in their teens.  Whether it’s disordered eating or self-harming, anxiety, discomfort in a body that’s changing, bullying or peer pressure to do things that they aren’t ready for, the experience of adolescence can often be traumatic.  One in four girls is recorded as clinically depressed by the time they turn 14, that’s 166,000 girls in the UK alone (UCL Sept 2017).

Rites for Girls helps prepare preteen girls for adolescence, guides them through their teens, and also offers coaching to mothers.

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First impressions

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up the book, but I certainly didn’t expect to find it so hard to put down.  From the very first pages, it’s crammed full of tips, advice, and helpful information.  Did you know that puberty can start from as young as eight years old?   Or that changing hormones can buffet and break existing connections in the teenage brain as well as the emotions?

There are many things in here that I have never even thought about.  Such as the notion of celebrating Flora’s first period as a rite of passage.  And talking to her about sex, not just in terms of pregnancy and diseases, but about romance, friendship, and the “adult fun” side of things too (Kim’s words).   Or that how her father treats us both will shape how she expects men to treat her in the future.

We’ve always tried to encourage Flora to be and do anything she wants to (palaeontologist, astronaut, marine biologist, cat and fish breeder).  And she has copious reference books, drawing pads and notebooks which are full of her designs and ideas.  The concept of allowing her to make her own mistakes is one that I struggle with though.  The thought of anyone or anything hurting her, physically or mentally, makes me feel sick.  Rationally, I know it’s going to happen and I need to make sure that my future teenager knows we are both here for her, that home is her safe place, and we won’t judge her.

I like to think that Flora and I are already close.  But something I want to make more time for before she hits puberty are Mother-Daughter dates.  So spending time together, just the two of us.  Whether we go out for hot chocolate and shopping, snuggle up at home with a film, or even just play Top Trumps together.  Quality time, just her and me when she has my undivided attention.  Kim makes a very good point that we may spend a lot of time listening to our children but do we actually hear what they say?  I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t think I do hear Flora sometimes.

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely, 100% yes.  I wish this book had been around when I was a pre-teen, I think it would have been very useful for both my mother and for me.  I’ve re-read certain sections already and used up nearly a whole pad of yellow Post-It notes to bookmark the most helpful pages.  What I particularly love is Kim’s tone.  She’s not judgemental, she’s offering her thoughts on what to do so things don’t go wrong and, even more importantly, what to do when things do go wrong.

The phrase that chimed most with me is actually in the first few pages of the book:

“Allow yourself to make your life better and
show your daughter an adult life to look forward to.”

As a freelancer trying to build my own small business, I’m very conscious that I’ve been spending far too much time on my laptop in recent months.  Often to the detriment of spending time with Flora (and Alan).  This is not setting a good example, so from September, things are going to change.  My daughter is still only eight but I don’t know for how much longer she’s going to want to spend time with me.  She is a gift, the light of my life and I do not want to miss one more second of her childhood than I have to.

Many thanks to Authoright for organising a copy of From Daughter to Woman for me to review.  I feel very lucky to have been gifted such an enlightening read – and I know it’s a book I’ll be returning to frequently in the very near future.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no cost to you if you make any book purchases using these links.  And you can check out my other book reviews here too.

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Jenny in Neverland
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This sounds like such a wonderful book! Obviously not a book I would need right now (hopefully in the future sometime!) but it sounds so useful for both Mother and Daughter. I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 xxx

Jennifer | Mrs Q Beauty
Guest

This sounds like a wonderful read. I have an almost 5 year old and he’s been testing us. 🙂

Jennifer | Mrs Q Beauty

Melanie
Guest

Great review Lisa! I have a copy of this book to read and review sitting in my TBR pile and can’t wait till I get a chance to give it a read. I already have two teens but I’m sure there is plenty I can still take away from this book. Thanks for sharing ?

Melanie | http://www.frasersfunhouse.com

jade bevan
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that book sounds amazing! thanks for sharing

https://myroutinesjade.blogspot.co.uk

Eena
Guest

This sounds like such a wonderful book! I think it would be a great book to bond over with a mom or daughter. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it!

cabin twenty-four

Lupe
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Lupe

This sounds like a great book! I wish I knew about this when I was younger. Luckily my mom and older sister are very open to talking about anything, so I could always confide in them. Now that I have a younger brother, we also make sure he feels comfortable to talk to us about anything that may be troubling him in his middle school.

Michelle Blackadar
Guest

This sounds like such a wonderful book that every mother should read. I’m not a mother yet and i’m in my early 20s I can only imagine how much this book would have helped my mother and I. It’s interesting to hear that seeing how the father treats both the daughter and mother sets up how the daughter thinks she deserves to be treated. Maybe that’s why I have such a high standard because I got very lucky in the fact that my dad still treats me like gold even at 24. Thank you for sharing this! I loved reading… Read more »

Jess
Guest

This sounds like a fabulous book, I wish this had been around for my mom to read when I was younger, we already have a great relationship but it might have helped to talk about the more difficult things and help me to open up to her about things I didn’t think I could talk to her about! I’ll definitely be purchasing this when I become a mom, I’d love to have a daughter and I think I’d need this to help me along the way!

Jess // foundationsandfairytales,wordpress.com
xx

Emma
Guest

This sounds like a really helpful book, I have two boys so I could do with something like this for them. Really enjoyed your review Lisa x

Emma x http://www.bookinggoodread.com

Bexa
Guest

This is such a great review Lisa! I never knew books like this existed and think it is a must read for any mums with young daughters. I wish there was more information like this available when I was growing up, especially on the topic of depression & anxiety. It sounds like such a handy resource with everything in one place. I really love the idea of Mother-Daughter dates for you & Flora, that’s really sweet & special. Thank you for sharing your brilliant review <3 xx

Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

Sophie Wentworth
Guest

This sounds amazing! I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult some of these conversations are to have with your kids but it’s great that this book has got you thinking about when Flora is ready while she’s still young. I never had ‘the chat’ with my mum and I dread to think how we’d both have handled it! x

Sophie
http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

Aaliyah
Guest

This really sounds like such a great book! I know from my relationship with my mum when I was teenagers that it can be difficult this book was probably needed back then! Sounds like a book I’ll need in the future! Great review xx

Ms Via
Guest

This book sounds so good for mum and daughter. I have two boys but still this would be helpful. These growing years are so important. Loved the review. I will check this out. 🙂

Via | http://glossnglitters.com

Merkitty
Guest

This sounds like such a good book. Although I’m not a mother yet, I am happy that books like this exist to help those who are. I also have someone in mind who might be interested in it. Thanks for sharing.

merkitty.co.uk

Kim McCabe
Guest

Lisa, when I read your review I knew I’d achieved what I set out to do. Thank you.