Padded bras for seven-year-olds, dolls dressed in high heels and pole dancing kits for kids.
From every angle, our daughters are bombarded by messages about looks and sexuality, which they are too young to understand. Even primary school girls feel pressured to conform to a thin, “sexy” ideal, leading to self-destructive behaviour, ranging from eating disorders and self-harm to anxiety and low self-esteem.
But while girls are fast-tracked though childhood, parents are being drowned out by the internet, retailers, the media and peer pressure. We are left feeling panicky and helpless.
So far there has been no practical help for parents on how to fight back against the “Lolita effect”.
Packed full of insights, tips and expertise from psychologists and specialists, Where Has My Little Girl Gone? is an essential and timely guide to safeguarding your daughter’s childhood – so she can grow into the healthy, confident woman she deserves to be.
Now parenting author Tanith Carey, herself the mother of two young girls, has written the first hands-on guide for parents, which will show you how to:
• Screen out damaging messages about body image and sex from the internet and media
• Build your daughter’s self-esteem so she is strong enough to deal with the pressure to behave older than her years
• Say the right things at the right time so she is inoculated against the worst influences of an X-rated society
• Steer your daughter towards positive female role models, toys and hobbies.
Tanith Carey is a parenting author, award-winning journalist and former foreign correspondent who writes for a wide range of national newspapers and magazines. This is her fifth book.
Where Has My Little Girl Gone is published by Lion Hudson and distributed in New Zealand by New Holland, RRP $21.99.