There is nothing on Earth more important than raising a child. Just think for a moment about children collectively. If they were all raised properly, there would be no more discord or crime. Certainly we would still have illness and tragedy, even poverty, but this new generation of children would band together as adults, focus their attention on developing solutions, and implement them.
Even if the solutions were out of reach, humankind would still act like pleasant neighbors and take the sting out of the mishaps, mistakes, and misery of others. In fact, if everyone would do a great job raising their offspring, the world would be reborn almost in an instant. So raising a child is crucial not only for the individual but also for the community, especially now.
Why? Because these days, life is tougher, the pace is faster, tragic events occur with more frequency and severity, and crime is on the rise. Some people go so far as to say that these days our schools are dysfunctional, our families are falling apart, and the whole country is floundering and on the brink.
That may be overstated, but it is a fact that parenting a child is of the utmost importance now. Yet, it's harder than ever before. There are so many more obstacles nowadays. Parents have less free time because society demands that their attention is focused more on economic concerns, especially now with huge numbers of parents being out of work. Think of all the hours they're having to spend trying to find employment. Of course, less free time means spending fewer hours with the kids, which leads to under-parenting (reduced parental supervision and guidance) and self-parenting (no parental supervision and guidance).
Besides that, these days there are so many more negative influences that rub off on our children at an earlier stage. It's not that society is going haywire as a whole, but too many problems seem to hit us all at once, not only in the national and international arena but also close at home. There are wars, terrorists, threats of missile attacks from foreign lands, new illnesses like the swine flu and MRSA (a staph bacteria resistant to antibiotics), global warming, skyrocketing gasoline prices, severe weather patterns such as hurricanes or tornadoes, and criminals who try to steal our identity, our money, our children, or our children's innocence.
No wonder parents feel overwhelmed and don't know where to turn. Every aspect of life seems to have become more difficult, and raising kids can become a real nightmare. It's especially hard to raise a girl because it seems so many of the ugly facets of modern life target girls more often than boys.
Just a few years ago, parents used to worry about girls and promiscuity, drugs, alcohol, and eating disorders. Now it's all those things plus a host of very scary new ones: cyberbullying, sexting, online stalking, dating violence, bullycide, pedophiles, Internet child porn dealers, and international predators.
As the parent or caregiver of a girl, you may really feel like you're at your wit's end. First, you want your little girl to grow up healthy and safe and happy, and to be able to enjoy her childhood to the fullest. Next, you want her to become a strong, capable, and independent-minded teenager with huge hopes and dreams and a will to succeed. Finally, you want her to blossom into a confident and successful young woman with the whole world at her fingertips.
But wherever you look, whatever you read, whenever you turn on the radio, TV, or your computer, you learn about yet another new and real threat — ranging from girls beating up girls, to Internet stalking, to someone stealing your girl's identity, and so forth.
You can't bubble-wrap your little girl — you know that, so what should you do? Whom can you ask for advice?
You start to feel a little frantic because even the “experts” you decide to go to — through your reading or on the Net — seem to contradict themselves. All those programs and magazines entirely devoted to parenting offer nothing much that is new except new areas for serious concern. You didn't even know little girls can get depressed at age three or worry themselves sick over not having brand-name outfits to wear in kindergarten. You wonder longingly whatever happened to allowing your child to grow up like a little tree in the forest, without all the muss and fuss. The only thing you do know is that you love your daughter with all your heart, and that you will do anything to protect her.
Stop worrying. Stop searching far and wide for answers. Your love for your little girl is enough, and you already have all the answers. You, only you, know your daughter and how best to raise her. You know what you envision for her future. You really have within yourself all the ingredients it takes to raise a wonderful daughter, even in the turbulence and uncertainty of today.
All you need is a simple step-by-step recipe that spells out how to blend the ingredients correctly: to let you know when to stir them, when to let them marinate, when to turn up the heat, and when to step back and wait for the result.
That recipe is this parent's guide. It's chock-full of all kinds of great suggestions, hints, choices, and solutions gathered from research, readings, and most of all from the hands-on experience of more than five thousand parents, parents just like you.
Here's the key point: You truly are capable of raising the most wonderful daughter and of helping her become a young woman who is strong, independent, loving, and successful, even in these most difficult times.
The Everything® Parent's Guide to Raising Girls, 2nd Edition is going to be by your side every day with a menu of information, options, main points, and stories from which to choose whatever best fits your and your child's needs.
You know what you want for your daughter's future — and for your own. Make your hopes and wishes come true. You can, and you will.