Reviews

 
Stressed-Out Girls:
Helping Them Thrive in the Age of Pressure


Reviews

“Compulsively readable, Stressed-Out Girls abounds with fascinating cautionary tales of well-meaning but misguided parents whose hypervigilant reactions to their daughter’s stress (often manifested by falling grades) results in a downward spiral of family conflict, escalating antisocial interactions, academic apathy or rebellion, plummeting self confidence, and risk-taking behaviors….[Cohen-Sandler] is especially helpful in using real life experiences and shifting point of view analysis on where we, as parents, unknowingly make wrong turns in attempting to work through these issues.” Wisconsin State Journal

“Cohen-Sandler is well aware of the difficulties of raising a girl in today’s complicated world…she provides mothers with lots of reassurance as well as real strategies for maintaining strong, loving mother-daughter connections. “  The San Diego Union-Tribune

Ever since Mary Pipher’s Reviving Ophelia drew attention to the pressures on teenage girls, both parents and psychologists have studied the problem. In one of the best additions to the literature, clinical psychologist Cohen-Sandler (Trust Me, Mom-Everyone Else Is Going!) sheds light on the demands of looking great, choosing extracurricular activities, getting into the right college, remaining thin, and, of course, being immensely popular. Girls more than boys, she argues, feel the need to live up to cultural expectations and to “do it all”-pressures that are ultimately self-defeating. The author interviewed 3000 teens and found five at-risk groups: girls in transition, undervalued girls, insecure teens, perfectionists, and distracted girls. Cohen-Sandler has appeared on NPR and Oprah, and given the popularity of her earlier titles, she is considered someone to trust, someone who understands kids. As good as Rosalind Wiseman’s Queen Bees and Wannabes; excellent for public libraries.  Library Journal

“It’s up-to-minute, relevant, and readable.” Boston Globe

“Cohen-Sandler offers action plans for fostering resilience and decreasing the root causes of stress.” The Washington Post

Many adolescent girls struggle with tremendous academic and social stress. Although it’s common for them to bury their anguish, clinical psychologist Cohen-Sandler uncovers it in this treatise on the true feelings of 3,000 teenaged girls. Drawing on her clinical work, interviews and a wide-ranging survey, Cohen-Sandler identifies five types of worried girls and lays out strategies for helping them lessen anxiety, develop resiliency and build confidence.  Among Cohen-Sandler’s types are ‘adapting girls’ who are challenged by transitions, ’undervalued girls’ who wrestle with ’square peg’ dilemmas, ’insecure girls’ who are desperate for acceptance, perfectionist girls who ’burn too bright,’ and ’distracted girls’ whose minds wander. Geared specifically toward parents, the advice is practical and realistic:  create a strong alliance with your daughter, avoid comparisons and enlist teachers’ assistance. Mainly, though, Cohen-Sandler wants parents to convey to their daughters that they are ‘lovable despite their inevitable imperfections.’ The author has a substantial background in writing about teenaged girls in Girls’ Life and Seventeen, and her wise, well-researched chronicle should be of help to parents of teen girls struggling with stress. Publisher’s Weekly

“Roni Cohen-Sandler [shows that] kids can learn lifelong lessons in these [social] experiences.  They need to know there is meanness in the world, and they need to figure out how they are going to deal with it.”  USA Today

Cohen-Sandler, a clinical psychologist, has written timely, well-received titles about parenting adolescent girls—Trust Me, Mom—Everyone Else Is Going (2002)—and mother-daughter conflict—I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You! (1999). Here she builds on her previous material in a title that helps parents understand the unique, intense pressures their daughters face. Today’s girls, she writes “equate being successful with being extraordinary.” After introducing common sources for contemporary girls’ substantial anxiety, Cohen-Sandler defines the characteristics of perfectionists and other profiles of girls at risk. Final sections include a troubleshooting chapter that discusses therapy and when to change schools. As in her previous titles, Cohen-Sandler writes in clear, encouraging, straightforward language, and she effectively bolsters her points with anecdotes drawn from interviews with nearly 2,300 girls. And she offers direct encouragement for parents to balance their own lives as they guide their daughters: “The most potent antidote of your daughter’s stress may be the alleviation of your own.” An eye-opening, up-to-the-minute resource for all adults who work with teen girls.  Booklist

“Is your daughter a stress mess? Many girls worry their way through
adolescence–whether they are socially insecure, high-achieving perfectionists, or just too scheduled. Stressed-Out Girls is an important guide that can help parents as well as educators know when to step in, when to step back, and how to help girls feel less overwhelmed and more in control.” Carol Weston, Girls’ Life advice columnist

“[Cohen-Sandler] explores the pressures today’s girls face to excel at everything – not just academically, but also socially and in sports and extracurricular activities.” Connecticut Post

 


 

 

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