Book Review of Your Daughter Needs a Hero by Maria Furlough
You can visit the author’s website at www.trueworthministries.org.
What drives teenage girls? What tempts them? What causes their insecurities? More importantly, what can parents do to make a difference in their lives? Author Maria Furlough battled self-image and self-esteem issues as a teenager, and in Your Daughter Needs a Hero she uses a mix of personal stories and years of experience counseling teenage girls in youth ministry to show parents what their teenage daughters are going through and how best to help them.
Furlough explains how things such as fad diets, the media, and pornography influence a teen girl’s body image, and she guides parents on how to counteract the constant pressures and influences that affect teen girls every day. This book will show parents how to effectively build their daughter’s self-esteem, self-image, and, most importantly, their faith in God and in their parents. If you have a daughter, Your Daughter Needs a Hero is a must read!
Meet Maria Furlough
Eighteen years ago, an eleven year old girl looked in mirror and for the first time in her innocent life…she realized she hated what she saw. That girl was me. It continued to be me until in my early twenties I realized two things: God had a bigger plan for me than that and part of that plan was for me to help other girls not be like me.
As God slowly picked me up out of the pit I was in, I began to look around me and see many of factors that contributed to my poor body image. As a youth leader I watched, studied, and prayed for the young girls God put into my life. I struggled with them as they constantly asked about the caloric content of the cookies I put out or begged me not to take pictures of them. It made me so sad to see so much of myself in them. Then one day, after an interaction with parents, it hit me like a ton of bricks “they don’t know!” Their parents, my parents…they didn’t and don’t realize the depths that insecurity reaches. It was time for action.
After the birth of my first child, Faith I sat down at my computer to write. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I actually wrote all the way through the birth of my second child David (it took me quite awhile with two under two at home!!!). What I wrote is simple: parents you need to know…Today my family and I live in North Carolina and we excitedly begin this journey as an author and speaker. My husband Dave is the catalyst behind all that I do. He has encouraged me and enabled me to be on this journey and I am so thankful for his love and his companionship. My daughter Faith, now turning four, inspires me every day to stand firm to the message I believe in. It is for her that I take serious every word I utter about beauty. It is for her I strive to be a woman who models a God given security in prayer that she will not struggle the way that I did. It is for her my life’s mission is now clear. My son David is now two and he is the ball of laughter and energy that keep this home going. His smile, his laugh it is all contagious and I look forward to the man God is molding him to be. Furlough baby # three, Aaron has officially arrived into our lives. Since the day he was born he has been a perfect reminder of God’s grace and love for us. Aaron is our perfect gift.
Authoring is by no means my life, but it sure is something God has excitedly called me to do and I look forward to all that the future has in store! May this book, this blog, this life of mine bless you as we partner to help our girls into a life of true worth.
Information from the Website
Your Daughter Needs a Hero, Helping Her Through Insecurity and Body Image is a journey into the mind of teenage girls from the perspective of the author’s own teen journey through insecurity. Personal stories coupled with years of working with teen girls in ministry Your Daughter Needs a Hero talks about what makes them tick. What tempts them? What tugs on their heart strings? More importantly, what can parents do to make a difference in their lives? It is no easy feat, but parents can start by tackling some of their own demoralizing behaviors. Diets, pornography, and sex soaked media have infiltrated the lives of the parents and most of the time they do not even realize the impact it has on their daughters.Teen girls watch, learn, and emulate the behaviors they see in their home. What legacy do parents want them inheriting? One of addiction, lack of self-control, and low body image? Or one of victory, hope, and peace with the body God hand picked them to have and the personality God specifically chose for them. Our daughters need rescuing and our parents need educating. Many times they simply do not know or understand the beast they are up against. Your Daughter Needs a Hero is an opportunity for parents to dig their heels in deep and learn how to help their daughter wade through the mucky waters of an insecure youth.
Your Daughter Needs a Hero is now available for purchase here at http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781613467947
I’ll never forget the very first time I looked in the mirror and thought I was fat. I was nine years old and spending my Saturday afternoon like I always did, locked in my room with a Teen Bop magazine.
The afternoon festivities went something like this. First, I went to extreme lengths to make sure neither my parents nor my younger brother entered into my room without first alerting me. Second, I needed a soundtrack, which usually included Wilson Philips or New Kids on the Block. Thirdly, and most importantly, was the full-length mirror.
That full-length mirror entertained me for hours. I would pose, dance, sing, model, dress up, imitate my parents, and put on makeup all in front of that one long, full-length reflection. But this Saturday, this specific Saturday, would forever change the way I looked in that mirror.
So, first on the agenda for that afternoon was reading my Teen Bop magazine, and truth be told, the pictures were the only thing that really mattered. I would go through the pages, find a picture of a girl I thought was cool, and then pose like her in the mirror. At this particular moment in time, a picture of Tiffany Amber Thiessen stood out to me. She was propped up against a locker with one leg up and her hands on her hips. Now was my turn, so I propped up against my dresser carefully in order to copy her perfectly. I put one leg up and hands on my hips. I remember feelings of dread and sadness came over me as I looked in the same full-length mirror that had previously brought me innocent views of myself. My next thoughts were thoughts that, to this day, are imbedded permanently in my mind: I don’t look like her. I am not as skinny as she is. And that was it. From then on, was ruined. The realization hit me like a ton of bricks: I don’t look like the girls in the magazines. I realize that from the outside looking in, this story doesn’t sound like a very big deal. A cute little girl realizes she doesn’t look like the girl in the magazine. So what? Well, to me and to so many young girls, it is a very big deal. After that instance, I began to grow up believing I was too fat for words (which I wasn’t) and that my worth a woman lied solely in the way I looked in a skirt. I lost all of my years as an adolescent going to great lengths to try to get to a place where I was comfortable in my own body, a place where I loved the way I looked. The sad part I was on a journey to a place that could never bring true fulfillment to a young woman simply because it is a place that does not exist. This place is a place that the media convinces us exists, place of physical perfection. Us girls, we tell ourselves that if we work hard enough and hate our bodies enough, then someday we will find that euphoric place. Sixteen painful years later, I can say with confidence that it is a lie that I don’t want another single young girl to buy into.
I was really looking forward to reviewing this book. I have a 16 year old daughter and am surrogate mother to all her friends. In addition, I have a 13 year old son, who needs to be taught how to treat a lady. This book has a lot of really good advice and ideas on helping your daughter survive her teenage years.
I used to teach a class on self-esteem and foster children, and one of the things we used to say was how hard it is to grow up with a good self-esteem, while constantly being bombarded with the images of “perfect” the media throws at us, when you are “normal” and not a child who has a damaged psyche from being a foster child in addition.
One thing we have done with my daughter from the time she was very little was to praise her for being smart, figuring things out on her own, etc, rather than just being cute… and she was Gerber baby cute. Another thing is that she has other adults, like her aunts, grandma, and other adults, who love her that she can talk to anytime she needs to, like I do for her friends. My sisters gave her the “Lily books” which are designed to help girls (pre and young teen) work on issues like body image and self-esteem while having fun.
I noticed in one chapter in the book the author talks about dressing her toddler in a mini-skirt and platform heels and then thinking “What am I doing to my child?” Given the fashions today I totally understand that. It was even harder at our house because my daughter was tall for her age (from birth at 22 inches and 10 pounds 3 ounces she has been in the 95th percentile for height). I’m 5 foot 11 inches and my husband is 6 foot 3 inches, so our kids are tall and always have been. When my 4th or 5th grade daughter was already in junior size clothes, it was really, really hard to find age appropriate clothes for her. When you have a child that age that is already over 5 foot 4 inches tall, finding children’s clothes is almost impossible. Also short, short skirts and short shorts were in style then and it was hard to say “No you can’t buy shorts is those are all they have” when it’s 110 outside.
However, I’m glad I stuck to my guns on that one because my daughter is fairly modest even now, and no I’m not naïve. I know how she is with her friends because I see it. My house is the house they hang out in, even with the rules, because they know I love them and no matter what they say or do I will always care about them… even when I’m lecturing them about being boy crazy or whatever they have done that I don’t approve of.
I have worked really hard to maintain an open relationship with my kids. They know that they can tell me anything and I will try not to over react, and that if I do I will apologize. They also know I have rules that I expect them to follow. The teenage years are so important and maintaining that relationship with your teen so that you still can impact them positively is so important. That is what I believe the author is trying to say. I see my daughter’s friends who don’t have that relationship at home and they crave it… so much that they come to me for it.
This is a book every parent should read, particularly if you have a teen or will have one in your life soon. Every parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, teacher, youth pastor, and any person who works with or loves a teen can benefit from this book. I give it 5 out of 5 clouds and an A++ on the practical help meter.
This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.