From teaching her the importance of loving her body to overcoming gender stereotypes, raising a daughter is hard, but incredibly rewarding (even if you don’t have an adorable mini-me like Reese Witherspoon). Whether you’re aiming to raise a tech #girlboss or just a beautifully confident young woman, these eight books will inspire and empower you to raise a strong daughter.
1. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women ($20+): It’s pretty impossible for any woman — whether seven-years-old or 35 — to not be inspired by stories of other incredible women. A perfect bedtime book to read out loud, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls features the stories of 100 heroic women including astronauts, athletes, chefs, engineers, artists and more. Each story is accompanied by a colorful, custom illustration created by female artists from around the world.
2. Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again by Kimberly Williams-Paisley ($16): You’ll never take your relationship with your daughter for granted again. Actress and wife of country music superstar Brad Paisley, Kimberly Williams-Paisley shares a moving tribute to the unique relationship between mothers and daughters. In this memoir, she shares how she coped with her mom’s diagnosis and struggle with early-onset dementia. Keep the tissues close by.
3. What I Told My Daughter: Lessons from Leaders on Raising the Next Generation of Empowered Women edited by Nina Tassler ($15): Written by a diverse group of inspiring contributors including Madeleine Albright, Laura Bush and Mia Hamm, this book is full of teachable moments that you can implement as you’re raising your own daughter. Whether you’re a celebrity, politician or stay-at-home mom, you’ll learn that we all want the same thing — to raise strong, confident daughters.
4. Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood by Lisa Damour ($18): A New York Times bestseller, Untangled is a research-based parenting guide for parents of daughters. Broken down into seven phases, learn what makes your daughter tick and how to navigate those often tumultuous teenage years. The best part: Lisa Damour teaches you that your daughter’s confusing behavior is actually healthy and natural, so you can feel (a little?) better about those teenage tantrums.
5. Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween by Melissa Atkins Wardy ($14): From the toy aisle to reality TV shows, girls and their identities are being attacked at every turn. Learn how to empower your daughter to challenge gender stereotypes and not be afraid to go against the grain. Rather than just defining the problem, author Melissa Atkins Wardy shares practical strategies that you can implement, from helping your daughter think critically about how women are portrayed in the media to working through body image issues.
6. Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein ($11): Sugar and spice doesn’t always mean everything nice. There’s a dark side to frilly pink girlie-girl culture. A must-read for any parent of little girls, this book offers an interesting perspective on the effects of popular culture’s emphasis on beauty and obsession with being innocent but sexy (think teenage Britney or Miley Cyrus) on our next generation of women.
7. Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-Proof Girls in the Early Grades by Michelle Anthony and Reyna Lindert ($11): The digital age seems to have only increased bullying. To raise a strong daughter, you’ll need to teach her how to problem solve to overcome difficult social situations. And since mean girls sometimes never grow out of their ways, you may even pick up a trick or two that’ll help you deal with that difficult coworker or judgmental mom from your daughter’s school.
8. Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes Strong, Confident and Capable Children by Angela J. Hanscom ($12): This book isn’t gender specific, but it’s perhaps a more important book for girls to read, who sometimes aren’t encouraged to get their hands dirty as much as the boys. According to author Angela Hanscom, pediatric occupational therapist and founder of TimberNook, it’s all about getting back to the roots of childhood. So stop being a helicopter parent and let your kids climb trees and make mudpies. They’ll be better for it.
What’s your fave part about having a daughter? Tweet us @BritandCo.
(Featured photo via Getty)