Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
In Queen Bees and Wannabes, Empower program cofounder Rosalind Wisemen uses the knowledge that she has garnered from more than a decade of listening to thousands of adolescent girls talk about the all-powerful clique to let inquisitive parents into that often notorious circle of influence that shapes their teenage daughters personas. Wiseman dissects each role of the clique, including Queen Bees, Wannabes, Sidekicks, and Torn Bystanders, and discusses girls' power plays, from birthday invitations to cafeteria seating arrangements to illicit parties. She goes on to candidly address sensitive issues like teasing, gossip, and reputations; beauty and fashion; and social taboos like alcohol, drugs, boys, and sex.
This groundbreaking book both interprets that seemingly foreign language used by your daughter and elucidates the unwritten laws by which she lives. Then Wiseman allows you to examine your parenting style by identifying how your own background and biases affect how you relate to your daughter.
Enlivened with the voices of dozens of girls and parents and Wiseman's welcome sense of humor, Queen Bees and Wannabes is a conversation piece and reference guide that perfectly lends itself to discussion and shared insights into the world that is your teenage daughter's: the world of friendships, Queen Bees, and Wannabees.
Dads often feel when their daughters are struggling with these issues that they can't relate, but this is precisely the time for dads to shine (Chapter 2). How can women actively encourage dads and other men in girls' lives to become more involved? What do women do that can discourage men from feeling that they can contribute?
What stops parents from talking to each other when their children are in conflict? Why do some parents feel that it is most appropriate for kids to work it out on their own? How does it make the other parent feel when they have that response?
Why are parents so reluctant to apologize for their child's behavior?
Can you think of times when you have denied your own child's wrongdoing? Why was it so hard to admit?
What were you teased about when you were your daughter's age and how did you handle it? What group, if any, were you in? Did you ever have an experience where a friend was mean or cruel to someone else and you didn't like it, but you said nothing because you were afraid they would turn on you?
Why is this considered by some to be a superficial rite of passage that all girls go through? What do you think cliques and bullying teach your child? Do you see these experiences influencing the kind of woman she becomes?
Can extracurricular activities help girls combat the importance they place on cliques and their social status? When would these activities be helpful and when could they be just as bad if not worse?
Do uniforms stop the social hierarchy?
How does parental involvement in school help or hurt these situations?
What parental behavior is the most helpful and most difficult in helping girls through these experiences?
What kind of parent are you? How do you know? (see Chapter 2)
Is your behavior with friends and family (and your interactions with her friends) consistent with your parenting values?
What stops parents from confronting each other and what stops them from listening when they find out their child is being bullied or being a bully?
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Three Rivers.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.
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