Follow Here To Purchase Princess Recovery: A How-to Guide to Raising Strong, Empowered Girls Who Can Create Their Own Happily Ever Afters

Author: Jennifer L. Hartstein, Psy.D.

ISBN: 1-4405-2795-4

Although Princess Recovery is a book aimed squarely at parents of girls age eight and under, it is easily applied to parenting and teaching on many different levels. The pervasive media messages our children get on a daily basis serve to reinforce gender stereotypes that are erroneous and damaging. Hartstein, with her background as a child and adolescent psychologist, does much in this book to decode those messages and explain why they are so harmful.

In our fast-paced, instant-gratification seeking culture, it is easier to accept the notion that we can purchase or pretend our way out of most difficulties than it is to lay the groundwork for honest, authentic lives free of Hollywood romance and glitz. Hartstein shows the reader, with clear examples and gentle persuasion, just how this phenomenon creates more problems for our children than we anticipate.

Following the initial chapters where she explains just what “princess syndrome” is and the negative lessons it imparts, the book is divided in to sections that teach the reader how to address each of the components in their own child’s life. Issues like materialism, superficiality, helplessness and low self-esteem are discussed and the author provides ways to combat each in simple, age-appropriate ways.

Throughout the book, I found myself nodding my head a great deal and, from time to time, feeling overwhelmed as I recognized my own parenting foibles in her examples. Hartstein anticipates this and offers the reader solace as she points out that this is an ongoing dialogue, a parenting style, if you will, and there is no need to tackle each and every challenge simultaneously.

While my daughters are ages nine and twelve, according to Hartstein, it isn’t too late to begin to repair some of the damage. If anything, some of the issues highlighted in this book are more vital with respect to my daughters as they hit puberty. It occurred to me that even parents of boys can benefit from many of these lessons on how to teach their kids to value themselves for more substantive reasons than physical appearance and to develop a healthy independence as they grow up.

Princess Recovery offers parents clear ways to help their girls grow up resilient, self-confident, and empowered to make their way in the world. Hartstein acknowledges that the gender stereotypes in media aren’t likely to go away anytime soon, and without biting the hand that feeds her (she is a regular commentator on CBS’s The Early Show), she teaches us how to talk to our kids about the difference between what they see on television or movies and reality. The only quibble I have is the garish, hot pink cover and fancy font that may just dissuade some buyers to avoid this book at all costs instead of checking to see what it is all about.


Follow Here To Purchase Princess Recovery: A How-to Guide to Raising Strong, Empowered Girls Who Can Create Their Own Happily Ever Afters