Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Say 'Aaah' | Media Mix

Tactics and Advice for Raising Girls

OUR DAUGHTERS' HEALTH; By Shari RoanHyperion; $14.95, 296 pages

March 26, 2001|KAREN STABINER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Try this quick test: A boy comes to the door to call for your daughter. He is pierced and peroxided and thinks that "like" is a punctuation mark. Do you let him in or tell him he has the wrong address? According to Shari Roan's valuable "Our Daughters' Health," parents must "embrace all aspects of girls' identities--including their sexuality, their perspectives, and their priorities--and provide a respectful context where girls can raise questions and voice their concerns." If that seems hard to pull off when her current priority is the embodiment of all your nightmares, this is just the book you need. Roan addresses health and lifestyle issues for girls ages 6 to 16, and her book is a necessary complement to all those books about a girl's emotional health.

Roan, who is a health writer for the Los Angeles Times, covers everything from eating issues to sexuality, genetics to teenage smoking. The diligent or paranoid parent will read it cover to cover. The rest of us can graze as needed and read the sections that seem most relevant to our families. We get straightforward information, and, better yet, we get tactics and advice: not only a list of calcium-rich foods, but also imaginative strategies for adding calcium to an idiosyncratic diet. Roan encourages parents to be better listeners--and then to help us out, offers sample comments for the empathy-impaired.

She has a traditional perspective; anyone hoping to find information about acupuncture, homeopathy or other alternative treatments will be disappointed. And her comprehensive approach guarantees that some sections raise as many questions as they answer. The section on breast cancer and genetics does not--cannot--fully address the ongoing controversy about genetic testing and the limitations of preventive therapies.

But "Our Daughters' Health" lays essential groundwork for healthy parenting and provides resources if parents want to study a particular issue in more depth.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|