Review - Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence
Bullying's feminine side
Having three preadolescent girls under our roof, I am constantly fed the line, "You just wait!" In many ways, I am thankfully still waiting, but in others I already see the draw and power of social relations to influence, mold and alter behaviors, attire, and values.
In a new book titled, Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping your daughter survive cliques, gossip, boyfriends and other realities of adolescence (Crown Publishers, 2002, ISBN: 0-609-60945-9), Rosalind Wiseman explores and critiques the multi-faceted, multi-tiered, multi-role "social totem pole" structure of adolescent "Girl World," exposing the "double-edged sword" world of friendships, which are the key—and threat—to adolescent survival.
Wiseman encourages adults to "develop a girl brain" by viewing the world from an adolescent girl's perspective, attempting to understand her by understanding her world. Adolescent girls are encouraged to be "floaters" in the social hierarchy, which means, among other things, to not base one's self-worth on any one group's acceptance. Parents are urged on numerous occasions to be a positive role model for their children, and to become "The Loving Hard-Ass," where unconditional love is teamed together with personal accountability. But the concise advice for effective parenting that instills values and ethics is stated simply, "Knowing her world is paramount." CPYU could not agree more!
Queen Bees & Wannabes offers practical, step-by-step strategies to gain and build understanding with adolescent girls while avoiding and defusing the "landmines" that inherently plague parent/child communication. One idea for building understanding is to ask adolescent girls to draw a map of their school, noting the location and dynamics of people from various social orders. Queen Bees & Wannabes is an informative, insightful and occasionally objectionable book for anyone working, interacting or living with adolescent girls.