Need recommendations for children's books dealing with positive body image and media influence for 8 1/2 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-08-2013, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter has now reached 8 1/2 years old and although I have worked very hard to insulate her from the exploitation of girls by the media (no TV, limited movies, no magazines, very limited pop culture/music) she is starting to experience this sort of negative influence from her peers at school, especially by other girls. The final straw was when she came home from school the other day pinching the skin on her upper leg and asked if she had "fat thighs" because another girl told her when she squats down her thighs "look fat". This is not only emotionally and intellectually upsetting but it is also frightening - my daughter is naturally rail thin. As a feminist and mother of two girls, this is just painful for me on so many levels and I am concerned my passion on this subject may cause her to tune me out - we talk about this often, but yet she's questioning herself. As balanced and calm as I try to remain, I feel I need some back-up with good, progressive literature for her to read on her own and also create a stepping stone for us to talk. She is a very good reader and can read above her grade level. Does anyone have any recommendations for progressive, conscious books I can purchase and give to my daughter on the subject matter of body image, bullying, being a leader, inner strength, etc? The ones I have are either too young for her now, or are geared towards teenagers - she's in the middle and this is proving difficult. Thank you for your help!! 

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#2 of 4 Old 04-08-2013, 09:27 AM
 
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I'm not sure about any particular "tween" books but have you checked out the Huffington Post Teen section? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/teen/ I'd use that to think up regular topics for discussions in the car or at the dinner table. I've always found discussions to be more influential than just controlling what books and media they have access to. Soon she'll have access to the internet and will be bombarded by all sorts of less-than-wholesome topics and ideas. The only way to keep her from taking them seriously is to prepare her to critically of the media. 

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#3 of 4 Old 04-08-2013, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh yes, totally agree about the conversations vs putting her in a bubble, preparing her for what is rather than insulating, which is unrealistic - definitely, and that's a great reminder, thank you. But my concern is that I need some back-up on this. We converse about the issues, she hears my position, she shares hers, and we talk it through, we consider alternate possibilities ... she is very logical and easy to communicate with (I hope that stays through the teens) ... however, I think I need some back-up on this. My daughter is a questioner and researcher. I didn't anticipate her getting this type of feedback from her peers this early and I think she's going to need more than just me to strengthen her against this powerhouse of peer influence - she'll need some additional positive influence outside of her father and I to empower her, something that is her own, if that makes sense. I will check out Huffington ... thank you for that recommendation and for responding, I really appreciate it!!  

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#4 of 4 Old 04-08-2013, 10:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktalbaugh View Post

Oh yes, totally agree about the conversations vs putting her in a bubble, preparing her for what is rather than insulating, which is unrealistic - definitely, and that's a great reminder, thank you. But my concern is that I need some back-up on this. We converse about the issues, she hears my position, she shares hers, and we talk it through, we consider alternate possibilities ... she is very logical and easy to communicate with (I hope that stays through the teens) ... however, I think I need some back-up on this. My daughter is a questioner and researcher. I didn't anticipate her getting this type of feedback from her peers this early and I think she's going to need more than just me to strengthen her against this powerhouse of peer influence - she'll need some additional positive influence outside of her father and I to empower her, something that is her own, if that makes sense. I will check out Huffington ... thank you for that recommendation and for responding, I really appreciate it!!  

 

The "Girls in STEM" section is pretty cool: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/girls-in-stem/ ...lots of stories and blogs of successful and influential females... but sorry, still not the books you were looking for :)

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