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with much passion and good humor, this work is a delight to share, and in its
audiobook version (read by the author), deserves an audience well beyond its
original target (his own daughters). Begun as a project designed to provide a
frank, confessional "Dad's advice for daughters", writing down
thoughts before speaking in the fear of simply embarrassing himself, there is
much for everyone here -- mothers and sons, grandparents, and singletons alike.
am not fully in agreement with all of the views expressed (and Yes, the 'how to
deal with guy stuff' is rightly included), but there is much 'good, solid
advice' that I could list here (and the reasons why I like them). Van Munching
takes on issues with TV soap operas (their poorness as role-model provision and
why few of us 'out here' cannot be saved by the commercial breaks as the actors
so often are!), physical possessions (how and why to get rid of them), fate and
romance (why 'soulmates' rarely turn out to be such), boyfriends (include how
to identify the right one, and how & why to get rid of them if they are
not!). However, the author also has a tendency on occasion to preach a little
with regards certain do's and don'ts with respect to his own lifestyle choices
and personal beliefs. For example, rather than listing the cautions associated
with tattooing and body-piercing, I would have preferred to hear more about
young ladies being encouraged to think about what their bodies are designed to
DO, rather than how they look; or to be better schooled in how to
explain about the exclusiveness and intimacy of sexual activity, rather than
being told simply that it is so. However, many parents may forgive Van Munching
for these omissions given his honesty and depth of genuine concern in offering
to share his values with such personal humility and openness.
surprising feature of this volume (at least for me) was its welcome scattering
of occasional references to significant gender issues with regards the personal
and social 'differences' between boys and girls, and especially so as they may
relate to their post-pubertal adolescent years. Many teenagers would do well to
consider the real-life experiences of the author, and his reflections upon them,
in explaining the possible causal factors giving rise to the finding that boys
and girls of the same age so often explain their behavior (both their own and
that of others) very differently. Indeed, for those parents neither able nor
willing to discuss some of the more sensitive issues raised here, I would
certainly suggest their considering giving this book to their children to read
(both boys and girls) – with the hope that they may thereafter at least have
been exposed to its specific content, which will surely be of great interest to
not an academic book based on research findings, but neither a volume to be
consigned solely to the humor shelf, this is a welcome addition to the
bookshelf of anyone wishing to provide serious, yet entertaining, discussion
material designed to aid young ladies (and young gentlemen) through their
journey from middle-school right through to their college and university days.
2006 Tony Dickinson
Tony Dickinson, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. USA., & People Impact Consulting (Asia).
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