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06 Oct, Thursday
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Montreal Families

Online resource for parenting daughters

As my daughters approached their last few years of grade school, I was looking forward to some parenting slack. We’d cleared the hurdles of toilet training, starting school and getting homework done but hadn’t arrived yet at the mythic teen years.

But then my daughter piped up one day, “Mum, how do you use a tampon?” and I realized my kids still needed a great deal from me. To prepare for parenting daughters in the 21st century (which means they’ve heard and seen more than you think), I logged onto the website www.daughters.com.

It’s run by one of the founders of New Moon magazine, a publication for girls ages 8-12, and offers an alternative to the beauty and celebrity-oriented magazines for young women. There I found a broad range of stories, ideas and advice from mothers and fathers concerned about how to raise healthy girls in a less-than-healthy society.

And let’s face it. North American culture is an exercise in contradictions. Eat junk food, but be thin. Admire role models, usually actors in supposedly safe Disney films, but watch out for lascivious photos and videos of them on the Internet. It’s no wonder we parents need some help and we can find it on this website.

The topics run the gamut from body image and puberty to handling being a step-parent. Blogs and discussion boards for parents and their daughters provide a way for people to connect and share their experience. A resource section offers links to more in-depth materials that shed light on some various parental concerns.

The website is now in my “how to parent a pre-teen” toolkit, which I know I’ll be consulting on a regular basis. Parenting can be a daunting task and it’s good to know I’m not the only one struggling, wondering and trying to do as much as possible for my kids.

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