I guess that I am feeling a little like Steve Oberg (Family Man Librarian) having read a new book by someone I have met here in Eau Claire.
Maureen Mack is a professor at UWEC (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), and teaches in the education department. In that respect this post veers from the professional (just a little) into the more personal and advocacy. Her book is Finding Center: Strategies to Build Strong Girls and Women. It is published by New Horizon Press in Far Hills NJ.
The book is an interesting mix of analysis of research, personal stories, and checklists/tests which will allow parents to create a better world for women. As someone who is a parent to both young men and a young woman, I learned some things I wish I had done differently. I also read about what I did correctly.
Much of what Dr. Mack has written is aimed at helping us to build successful, confident women who will, ultimately, determine our society' s direction. Those who are parenting young women must read this book. There are numerous suggestions about how to help girls develop into the confident women we need. It is sometimes incidental that the book talks about how to help our sons become the kind of people who value women, respect women, and support women.
I work in a profession which has many more women than men. My inspirations for becoming a librarian were influential women in my life. I feel that I have a duty to pay back that inspiration. At the same time, I am the father of two sons and a daughter. The two sons have finished college and are now beginning their careers. To me, they seem to have successful lives and successful relationships. My daughter is still in college, and to me, still a work in progress. However, she is completing a double major at a large, major university. She seems to be on a good path professionally and personally. At the same time, when I pause to reflect, there are things I wish I had done differently. There are times I can point to when I wish I had spent more time with each of my children [I just can't call them kids -- i.e. young goats]. They have turned into great adults with the help of both parents, and at times I think, in spite of both parents.
Having read this book, there are things I would do differently if given the chance. In a way, that is my pledge.
Bottom line: if your library does not have this book, buy it. Read this book!!