Dear Daughter: What I Wish I’d Known at Your Age by former BBC reporter and media presenter Roy Sheppard is a self-help guide aimed at 15 – 25 year old young women. Roy is also the author of Dear Son: What I Wish I’d Known at Your Age for young men in the same age group.
As well as Roy’s take on ‘what he thinks young women should know’ in his role as a writer and speaker on personal and professional relationships, the book contains articles and insights from a selection of savvy women from all walks of life, both professional and amateur, encompassing a variety of careers and highlighting different viewpoints.
Roy said that “These books are designed to provide all young people with practical, no-nonsense advice on a variety of topics. And provide a platform for more meaningful conversations with parents.”
Dear Daughter is the sort of dip-in, dip-out of book that would appeal to young women, although as the mother of three (now adult) daughters I am not actually sure whether they would have appreciated me handing this to them to read, even though I would have done so with the best of intentions.From a personal perspective I feel that the book could have been better addressed to parents, Dear Mother: What You Should Tell Your Daughters! As parents we could read these books and impart the advice to our children as and when needed. Very often, in the midst of teenage angst, the last thing they want is to read a book telling them why they are feeling the way they do. Will young women in today’s society make the same mistakes that I did even if they read this book? Probably! Would a book like this actually make the young girls for whom it is aimed at go about their daily lives with a different approach? Maybe not, although it can’t but help to warn them of the perils that they may encounter as they approach adulthood.
Despite all this, Roy has managed to impart candid and truthful information about life and how to navigate your way through it as a young woman, without patronising and, in places, with humour.
The members of the book group at which we discussed this all found it to be a good read, but some of the suggestions were that there could be a sequel that dealt with issues surrounding teenagers today involving technology and, particularly, online bullying and the sexualisation of girls through social media sites.
As an older woman I think I may have even got more benefit now from some of the advice given in the book! We all think we are invincible and there are a lot of things mentioned that I knew about during those tender teenage years, but which actually I didn’t take heed of. Maybe the parts about how to gain a better understanding of men are pertinent – and not just in hindsight.
If there was one bit of advice I could give to my daughters that I didn’t – what would it be? Be confident, be kind, be happy and smile. It doesn’t matter how beautiful you think you are or are not – people, and not just men, find someone with high energy, a compassionate soul, a good heart and a positive personality more attractive than someone without those qualities. But then, you don’t need me to tell you that. Just read Roy’s book.
Dear Daughter: What I Wish I’d Known at Your Age is available from Amazon UK.