I have one wife, two daughters, and two granddaughters. Over the years, our ministry has allowed us to minister directly to thousands of teenage girls. My concern for our girls skyrocketed over thirty-five years ago when a two-hour car ride with half-a-dozen of our youth group’s sophomore girls turned into an eye-opening Q and A session. They were explaining the realities and sources of the anxiety they are experiencing in their lives. The conversation took my concerns to a new level.
Fast-forward. Things have gotten much worse. . . for a variety of reasons. And, I’m concerned about how the pressures on our girls will combine to create unhealthy hurdles and heartache not only for my precious granddaughters, but for all of our girls. As a believer, my greatest desire is for them to flourish in this life as daughters of the King, finding their identity in Him rather than endlessly looking for satisfaction by finding their identity in something or someone else.
A couple of weeks ago my concerns led me to a newly released book by Dr. Leonard Sax, Girls on The Edge: Why So Many Girls Are Anxious, Wired, and Obsessed – And What Parents Can Do. I’ve known Leonard since we had him on Youth Culture Matters Podcast back in January to talk about his book, The Collapse Of Parenting. He is a straight-shooter who tells it like it is, offering insights, analysis, and recommendations that are spot-on. His recently released book is a revised version of the book on girls that he released ten years ago. . . a revision occasioned by just-how-much things have changed for our girls.
Dr. Sax writes, “Many girls today are failing to develop a robust inner life, the sturdy core of personality, the ballast that every human needs in order to navigate the storms of life without capsizing.” So true.
Last week we had the opportunity to record a new episode of our Youth Culture Matters podcast with Leonard Sax. We talked about his new book, the issues confronting and mis-shaping girls in today’s world, and how we can begin to respond as parents and youth workers. This episode is most helpful. . .