Are you looking for another way to connect with your daughter? (I am.) Mother-daughter relationships evolve as girls grow older. My girls are nearing the teen years, that time in their life when they will begin to pull away seeking their identity and independence. My role is to continue to provide guidance without turning them off. To keep the communication channels open.
What about a mother-daughter book club? A mother-daughter book club helps to fill that need.
I recently finished reading the wonderful Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs by Cindy Hudson. As girls grow older, mother-daughter book clubs provide wonderful environments to discuss current, complex, germane, and sensitive issues within the context of discussing the book. Cindy feels that the benefits of a mother-daughter book club include the following:
- Enhancing your daughter’s reading skills
- Staying connected with your daughter as she grows
- Nurturing your daughter’s self-confidence
- Helping your daughter learn life skills
- Spending social time with other moms/girls
- Building a community of caring friends
Cindy’s practical and well-written Book by Book, based on her firsthand experience as the founder of two long-running successful mother-daughter book clubs, is great how-to guide for establishing and then keeping mother-daughter book club going. For years, Cindy along with her two daughters, Catherine and Madeleine, has participated in book clubs that have encouraged maturity and poise in her daughters as well as bonded them tightly through being able to discuss a wide range of topics in a safe environment. Hudson has taken her years of experience as a mother, writer, book club organizer, and participant and written a fantastic how-to for mother interested in creating book clubs for their daughters and themselves.
From my interview with Cindy:
How do mother-daughter book clubs benefit girls, mothers, and their relationship with one another?
I could talk all day about this, because moms and daughters both benefit in so many ways. But here are a few of the most important benefits:
- When you’re in a mother-daughter book club together you carve out time just for the two of you with no siblings or spouse/other parent to focus on. You’re saying to your daughter that she’s important enough for you to set aside time for her alone.
- Books give you an entrée to talk about important issues in life. It’s an excellent way to let your daughter know your values and beliefs without seeming to preach specifically to her. And it lets you bring up topics that may otherwise be difficult or embarrassing to talk about, like having sex with a boyfriend, drinking alcohol at parties, date rape…the list of topics goes on and on. Of course, you won’t start out with heavy issues like these when she’s nine. Instead you’ll grow into them as she grows older.
- Sharing your opinions in a mother-daughter book club discussion can also help both of you hone your speaking skills. It’s a safe place to practice forming your opinion, learning how to articulate it well, and defending what you believe when others disagree. You can also learn how to be swayed when others present a convincing argument of their own thoughts. Those are life skills that most of us can practice no matter our age.
Where do I find reliable information for choosing age-appropriate books?
You can start with the children’s librarian at your local public library, or talk to the librarian at your daughter’s school. She will likely have lots of good titles to suggest for you. You can also approach your favorite bookseller. Often you’ll find employee book reviews and recommendations there. I list 100 books divided into four age groups in Book by Book. I also note age recommendations for the books I review on my blog.
Visit Cindy online at http://www.motherdaughterbookclub.com/.
You can order your copy of Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs here or at your local bookseller.