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Dads and Daughters
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About the Author

Former journalist Joe Kelly is the executive director of Dads and Daughters and father of twin adult daughters. His work has been extensively featured in the media, including NPR, CBS, ABC, People, USA Today, and the New York Times. He was awarded the 1995 Parenting Achievement Award from Parenting magazine and helped his wife, Nancy Gruver, launch New Moon, the award-winning international magazine edited by girls. He lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

Reviews

These two titles strengthen the burgeoning girl-rearing genre. A psychologist and speaker on gender equity, Deak aims to give answers to the problems raised in Mary Pipher's classic Reviving Ophelia. Quite a claim but she does it. To handle struggles with body image, self-esteem, intellectual growth, peer pressure, and media messages, Deak offers a strong framework that includes concepts like Crucible Events (defining life episodes) and the Strudel Theory (building a life with layers). That latter concept comes into play with Deak's objection to the theme of Laura Stepp's recent Our Last Best Shot: that is, if parents lose touch with their daughter during adolescence, their relationship is over. Many levels of experience make our daughters who they are; parents are never done connecting with their daughters, says Deak. Furthermore, girls need to be connected to other girls, which can, in turn, conflict with their need to compete, succeed, and find happiness. Finally, Deak deals with the newest issues of girls as manipulators/pleasers. Hers is a thoughtful philosophy based on years of counseling, research, and experience. Kelly, executive director of the national advocacy group Dads and Daughters, shares his perspective on raising girls (he is the father of twins). Although initially he goes a little overboard with his claims of a father's impact on daughters, he ultimately delivers an effective message: fathers can take an active role in raising confident daughters. As Deak also points out in her book, however, dads may have a harder time with daughters than mothers have raising sons. The teen years are especially trying for dads because of sexual issues, and Kelly expertly shows readers how to deal with them. Rather than stamp out girls' libidos, he argues, parents must help daughters recognize them. In an age of boundaries and abuse, he delineates the differences between nourishing touch and physical abuse. Live-away dads are not forgotten either. He's also open to homosexuality and tries to teach daughters new ways of coping (e.g., allowing his daughters a checking account at age 12). Michael Gurian's The Wonder of Girls describes more fully the role of intimacy, biology, and brain chemistry in girls' lives; Kelly just wants dads to know how very influential they are. Both Girls and Dads are highly recommended for public libraries. Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"Joe Kelly defines the landscape for fathers and daughters in the treacherous domain of America today. He also offers the testimony of other travelers, a map and a first aid kit to help families make it to safety. This book is an essential aid for the fathers of adolescent girls."
---Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls

"Joe Kelly points the way for fathers to help raise empowered and healthy daughters---a longtime feminist goal. Dads and Daughters is must reading for men and women alike who want to change the world their daughters will inherit."
---Leslie R. Wolfe, Ph.D., president of the Center for Women Policy Studies "Dads and Daughters should go on the required reading list of every one of us dads who want to raise healthy and strong daughters."
---David Walsh, Ph.D., President and Founder, National Institute on Media and the Family "Dads and Daughters does what a good advice book should do: respect its readers while offering them real guidance and help. Joe Kelly knows it's tough to navigate the passage from girl to woman in our culture, and he knows that fathers can make a big difference in their daughters' lives. He is able to laugh at himself, to reveal his own struggles, and to empathize with the fathers he's addressing. But he holds his readers to a high standard because he knows how important fathers are. Dads and Daughters challenges and invites fathers to listen-to their daughters, of course, but also to each other. This is a book that will make fathers want to learn how to stay close to their daughters, and it is a book that will show them how."
---Susannah Sheffer, author of A Sense of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls "I've been a big fan of Joe Kelly ever since I started receiving his Dads and Daughters newsletter across my computer screen. I've shared his organization's literature with the thousands of girls and their families in Girls on the Run. And now at last he has written a book that pulls so much of his message, his insight and his passion into one place. Dads and Daughters offers both practical advice AND a strong voice for the millions of dads out there who want to engage themselves in their daughter's lives and improve the dad and daughter bond."
---Molly Barker, Founder and CEO, Girls on the Run International, www.girlsontherun.org

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