10 Best Books on Raising Strong Girls
Girl Mom Reviews,  Raising Girls

10 Best Books on Raising Strong Girls

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Raising strong girls in the face of mean girls, bullies + life is tough. Even if you were a girl at one time, as a mom now, it’s a different world for girls than it was when we were growing up.

Also, if you’re going at this parenting stuff for the first time, you’ve never raised girls before. It doesn’t hurt to have some information at your fingertips so you can have a plan in place for raising strong girls.

These 10 books can provide you with the information, tips + advice that you need for raising daughters + raising strong girls that can take on this world while they are little + continue to take it on as they grow into teenagers + adults.

1. No More Mean Girls

No More Mean Girls

Remember in elementary school how you we played + learned + then went home? Yeah, those days are gone. While mean girls tended to appear in high school for us, mean girls are now making an appearance as early as elementary school.

No More Mean Girls by Katie Hurley tackles the issues like peer pressure, low self-esteem + cyber-bullying that is creeping up at younger ages than ever before. In a world where social media leads our girls to believe that building “likes” reveals to the world just how “liked” they are, it is our job to instill confidence in them so they don’t define their self worth by what others think of them.

This books gives parents practical + actionable advice on exactly how raising strong girls is about teaching girls to stand up for themselves while being strong, confident + learning to build each other up instead of tearing each other down.

Katie Hurley also provides parents advice on how to teach girls to deal with mean girls, how to seek out + build healthy friendships + how to express their emotions in a healthy way.

2. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

Strong Fathers Strong Daughters

Raising strong girls has a lot to do with the relationship that said girls have with their fathers. The challenge is that most fathers have never been girls so it’s hard for fathers to connect to their daughters (It can be hard for mothers to connect to their daughters, too, + most of us have been girls.).

In Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, Dr. Meg Meeker, reveals the 10 secrets every dad needs to know about building or re-building strong bonds with his daughter. Building these strong bonds is the foundation for helping daughters + fathers create successful lives.

3. Little Girls Can Be Mean

Little Girls Can Be Mean

When my oldest daughter was entering the 4s’ class at her preschool, I was shocked to find out from her preschool teacher that “mean” girls start as young as 4. Four! My oldest is especially sensitive so I wanted to arm her with + my other daughters with what it takes to stand up against bullying.

Little Girls Can Be Mean provides you with the four steps you can take to bully-proof girls starting in the early grades (for me it started in Pre-K) such as elementary school.

The great thing about tackling the issue of bullying in this book is it covers bullying for girls + bullying at young ages rather than with older girls. The book provides actionable strategies young girls can use to stand up for themselves when they are being intimidated, bullied + disrespected.

While the focus of the book is on helping girls deal with bullying at a young age, you just might pick up a strategy or two on dealing with “mean moms.” Some things + people never change, right?

4. Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Growing up in Florida, I was surrounded by Disney. As I reached adulthood, I began to realize that Disney does girls a HUGE injustice by implanting thoughts such as, “One day, your Prince Charming will come along.”

It creates a fantasy + fairytale mindset that is often far from reality. Now that I have three daughters, my focus is on raising strong girls that can stand on their own two feet — whatever way that looks for them — without a man, with a man, wearing a tiara or wearing a football helmet.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter weighs the pros + cons of raising girls in a binary gender society. The biggest takeaway with this book is that we should just let our daughters be whoever it is they want to be.

If she wants to don the princess dress + be girly, then that is A-okay. If she wants to roll in the mud + wear a dinosaur dress then that is A-okay, too. If she wants to wear a princess dress while rolling in the mud, then so be it!

This book also dismisses the mindset that girls are all sugar + spice + everything nice mentality. It delves into the thought process that our society has about how important outer beauty + how to focus on inner beauty instead.

5. What I Told My Daughter

What I Told My Daughter

This book screams Girl Power! It is a compilation of reflections from women leaders in politics, sports, business, academia + the arts. Strong + confident women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Laura Bush + Madeline Albright.

These women lead by example for their daughters + provide their best advice in what they told or showed their daughters about life lessons in leadership, courage + empathy.

What I Told My Daughter is a series of essays written from the perspective of the celebrities + women leaders. They each discuss the life lesson they taught their daughter(s) + how they went about doing it.

You don’t have to be a celebrity or a power-leader to take away some great life lessons that you can share with your own daughter.

6. Enough As She Is

Enough As She Is

While girls are outpacing boys in areas such as college enrollment + GPAs, girls are more anxious + stressed out than ever before. Many girls feel that no matter how successful they are that they just aren’t pretty enough, smart enough, sexy enough, popular enough, successful enough or thin enough for the world in which they live.

Enough As She Is uses case studies + in-depth research to help parents give their daughters the necessary tools to become healthy, happy + fulfilled women that reject the pressure of becoming a supergirl + how to overcome the stress that society places on them.

I remember being scared to death of turning 30, but my 30s turned out to be a time in my life when I finally felt comfortable in my own skin, didn’t care what other people thought of me + truly lived life on my own terms. If I had read this book or had a mother that read this book, I might have been able to get there way before I turned 30.

By the way, my 40s aren’t looking so bad either πŸ™‚

7. Odd Girl Out

Odd Girl Out

Boy bullies tend to push + shove. Maybe even punch + slap. They come at it from more of a physical side than girls. Girl bullies punch + strike with emotional abuse.

Odd Girl Out reveals the hidden + dark side of girl bullying in our culture. This includes social media bullying online. The author arms parents with information to recognize the signs of social media bullying or girl bullying in general + provides ways to overcome it.

8. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls combines the world of make believe with reality. Each story is about a true strong woman but is told as a fairtytale. This is a lead by example book for raising strong girls.

The book includes 100 stories illustrating the lives of extraordinary women with the likes of Amelia Earhart, Jane Austen, Coco Chanel, Cleopatra + Marie Curie. The illustrators of the book are 60 women. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a book for girls written about girls (past + present) by girls + illustrated by girls.

It is a bit more for younger girls than it is for adolescent or teenage girls. Much like the fairytales from Disney, the book has engaging stories while teaching life lessons. It is the perfect book for bedtime stories.

9. How to Mother a Successful Daughter

How to Mother a Successful Daughter

All any of us want as parents is to have happy, healthy + successful daughters. Success can look drastically different from one daughter to another.

How to Mother a Successful Daughter delves into the steps you can take as a mother to help your daughter overcome the stress, pressure + anxiety that societal pressures put on her to build a successful life in her own eyes.

As mothers, we lead a lot as example for our daughters. We have to model the behaviors that we want our daughters to exhibit. We definitely have an influence on whether those behaviors are healthy ones or not. The focus of this book is the dynamic of the mother-daughter relationship + how mothers can have a positive influence on their daughters.

10. Strong is the New Pretty

Strong is the New Pretty

You know what they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So true. What is pretty to me may not be pretty to you. What is pretty to you may not be pretty to me.

Strong is the New Pretty is a photo book that depicts girls just being themselves in all sorts of different outfits + situations. It debunks the myth that girls have to look or act a certain way to be pretty, to be accepted or to be liked.

The 175 photographs depict that raising strong girls is all about fostering the beauty that is on the inside + that what is beautiful on the outside is a strong + confident girl.

Raising strong girls is not for the faint of heart. It’s a tough process but you don’t have to go it alone. There are numerous resources available to you, Mama, so you can raise strong + confident girls that are going to do great things for this world.

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18 Comments

  • Haley

    Oh this is so good! I’m delving more intentionally into reading books for self development and this totally is going on my β€œcome back to” list of books to read. Single mother of one little girl and it can be so intimidating at times. I love this.

    • girlmom

      I am reading more + more self help books, too. Especially when it comes to parenting girls. Definitely keep these books on your shelf of weapons to help you with raising your daughter!

  • Maria@everydaymomsquad.com

    I love this post! I don’t have daughters ( all boys so I teach them how to respect girls πŸ™‚ ). But if I did have daughters I would definitely have them read these. But I do have nieces that could read these. It’s so important for girls to know they are strong, especially in today’s world! Thank you for this post!

    • girlmom

      Yes! The Rebel Girls book might be a good one to read with your boys. It paints girls + women in a positive light, which, of course, is a good model for boys πŸ™‚

  • Amanda

    This is such a great list of books. I have a 14 year old and always looking for good books to help me get myself in check and help her grow into the strong woman I know she can be. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sonja - Too Much Character

    I am saving this post to read in a year or two. My toddler is already a force to be reckoned with, which I love. I hope that she continues to grow up showing her strength, and reading these books will help with that intention.

    • girlmom

      I definitely suggest checking these books out. I think you’re going to find some extremely useful + relevant tips, advice + strategies for raising a girl — even one that is already strong πŸ™‚

  • Annie

    Oh I am so excited about all of these! I have a children’s book for girls by Christiane Northrup that I bought when our oldest was a baby to use as a future gift. Now that she is almost 2 and has successfully ripped all my kid personal development books I might be waiting a few years to give it to her πŸ˜‰ But I am so happy to see that there are books out there on this subject because I know I will need them!

    • girlmom

      All of these books do have tips, advice + strategies that I found to be extremely helpful in navigating the murky waters of raising a girl or raising girls.

  • Lisa

    I only have a son so far, but I’m keeping these books in mind in case I ever have a girl. And as a former teacher, I sooooo see the value in them. I want the women of our next generation to be so much kinder to themselves and others!

    • girlmom

      While these books are definitely geared toward girls, I think it’s beneficial to read them yourself or read them with a boy too. Boys can learn about girls + women–especially from the Rebel Girls book πŸ™‚

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