The Myth of the Perfect Girl: Helping Our Daughters Find Authentic Success and Happiness in School and Life [NOOK Book]


New insights and practical solutions for overworked and stressed-out girls and their parents.

In today's achievement culture, many girls seem to be doing remarkably well—excelling in honors and sports and attending top colleges in ever greater numbers—but beneath the surface, girls are stressed out and stretched too thin as they strive to be “perfect.” In their efforts to...
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The Myth of the Perfect Girl: Helping Our Daughters Find Authentic Success and Happiness in School and Life

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New insights and practical solutions for overworked and stressed-out girls and their parents.

In today's achievement culture, many girls seem to be doing remarkably well—excelling in honors and sports and attending top colleges in ever greater numbers—but beneath the surface, girls are stressed out and stretched too thin as they strive to be “perfect.” In their efforts to juggle schoolwork and extracurriculars, family life and social lives, friends and frenemies, as well as relationships online and IRL (in the real world), many girls begin to lose sight of who they really are, and instead work overtime to please their friends, parents, teachers, and others.

With honesty, empathy, and a fresh perspective, The Myth of the Perfect Girl presents advice to empower both parents and girls themselves to discover what true success and happiness means to them — and how to work to achieve it.
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"An essential book...The Myth of the Perfect Girl challenges both girls and the adults who care about them to deeply reflect on the most important issues girls will face as they reach their full potential."
—Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes

"Whether you're the parent of an adolescent girl or a savvy young woman yourself, the insights in this book could just change your outlook — and make the turbulent teen years a little less of a pressure-cooker. Ana Homayoun is the counselor, expert, and friend every parent — and girl — needs."
—Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions

"Offering fresh insights and vivid examples, Ana Homayoun makes sense of the enormous pressures facing girls today. More important, she shows what parents and educators can do to help girls navigate these turbulent years with confidence and purpose. A great addition to the field."
—Michael Gurian, Author of The Wonder of Girls

"A smart, funny and engaging study on how to give girls the tools to figure out what they really want - and how to get it. A must-read for girls, mothers, educators and anybody who wants to understand half the population."
—Susan Shapiro, author of Unhooked: How to Quit Anything and Only as Good as Your Word

"As our society grapples with who we want and need females and males to grow up to be, it is no surprise that our girls and boys are confused about what is expected of them. The Myth of the Perfect Girl dives deep into how this is unnerving our girls. A must read for all parents, educators, psychologists and girls themselves."
—Dr. Louann Brizendine, Founder/Director UCSF Women's Mood and Hormone Clinic, and author of The Female Brain and The Male Brain

"Many seemingly disconnected forces in society are placing unfair burdens on girls growing up today, as well as on their parents. Gratefully, Ana Homayoun, poignantly spells out what’s going on, how it’s affecting our girls, and how grownups can help them negotiate the minefields. Everyone who cares about the wellbeing of girls should read The Myth of the Perfect Girl."
—Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Wheelock College, and co-author of So Sexy So Soon

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101619001
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/31/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 299,571
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Ana Homayoun is a nationally recognized counselor and consultant specializing in strategies for junior high and high school students. The founder and president of Green Ivy Educational Consulting and the author of That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week, she is a frequent writer and lecturer on adolescent issues.
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Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

Introduction: The Paradox of Girls' Success: Why Girls, Why Now l

The Big Picture

How Success and Failure Are Sometimes the Same Thing

Filling the Box

Why Is Filling the Box a Girl Phenomenon?

Pleasing Everyone but Themselves

The Empty Box

1 The Perfect Girl Myth: Why It's So Prevalent and Such a Problem 15

What's Different Now?

Reason 1 Our Changing Academic Landscape

Reason 2 Getting Older Younger

Reason 3 Technology

Reason 4 Differing Views of Healthy

Reason 5 The Ultimate Myth

The Perfect Girl Problem

Leaning Forward, Falling Backward, Getting It Right

2 So Many Ways to Be Boxed In 47

The Overstressed Overachiever

The Socially Centered Starlet

The Pensively Private Thinker

The Caring Considerate Peacemaker

The Dramatic Queen of the Party

The Creative Wonder

The Constant Chameleon

The Worst-Case Scenario Worrier

3 Parental Attitudes and Approach: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution? 67

Parents: Part of the Problem?

Role Models Are Closer Than They Appear

Separating Your Dreams from Your Child's Reality

Hand-Holding and Helicoptering

Who Else Plays a Valuable Role in Your Daughter's Life?

Parents: Part of the Solution!

Embrace All Possibilities

Focus on Long-Term Efforts Rather Than Short-Term Results

Allow Girls to Become the Creators of Their Own World

4 Breaking Down the Boxes 90

Goals and Purposes

Active Living and Engaged Learning

The Entrepreneur's Model of Success

Taking the B

Redefining Failure

5 Putting Purpose into Organizational Practice 123

Girls Need Organization Too

Binders, Planners, and Other Essentials

Scheduling Homework and Free Time

Putting Organization into Practice

6 Rome Wasn't Built in a Day: Strategies for Quizzes, Tests, Projects, and Finals 151

Previewing Isn't Just for Movie Theaters

The Law of Diminishing Returns

Quizzes and Tests

Long-Term Group Projects

Final Exams

7 Social Wellness: Putting the Fun Back into Fun and Games 173

Reality Show and Cele-bratty Relationships

Virtual Relationships

Female Bullying: Cyberbullying and Otherwise

Distracted Relationships

Real Relationships

8 Emotional Wellness: Compensating and Problem Solving 201

It's All Okay, Except When It Isn't

Learning to Seek Support

The C's of Success

Creating a Core System of Support

9 Physical Wellness 220




10 Spiritual Wellness: Reflecting and Connecting 249

Editing, Reevaluating, and Letting Go

Hearing, Understanding, and Appreciating the Inner Voice

Reflection of the Outward and Inward Messages

The Overlooked Beauty of Selfless Service

Disconnection from the Everyday

11 Conclusion: Implementing the Strategies 264

Remember the Importance of Attitude

It's Okay to Outsource

Any Day Is a Good Day to Start

Sample Six-Step Strategy

Acknowledgments 271

Notes 273

Index 281

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Excellent book - I was able to get an advanced copy. Ms. Homayou

    Excellent book - I was able to get an advanced copy. Ms. Homayoun discusses the challenges teen girls deal with in an easy-to-read, informative yet not overwhelming style. She definitely knows her subject matter - and I felt as though she had been in my house!! The first few chapters deal with the scope of the problems and why they are different now than ever before. What I like best, though, is that she is really optimistic, practical and focuses on solutions. Her final chapters are on wellness - mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual - and she does a good job of giving "something for everyone." I came away with a few tips I could use in my own life, and appreciated her real worldview. Definitely recommend if you have a pre-teen or teenage girl in your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

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