Do you have a daughter that is growing up too fast? Are you hoping to maintain that wonderful closeness that you’ve cultivated over the last 10 to 12 years? Are you, like me, unwilling to accept the cultural expectation that daughters and mothers should be at odds? I think that there is a simple and fun way to directly impact these concerns. A Mother-Daughter Book Club!
In library school, we worked on a unit about building family literacy. Most of the information was for developing readers. But there was a suggestion of starting a family book club. Further investigating brought about the idea of a mother-daughter book club with friends and their mothers. I loved the idea! This would give us an opportunity to talk about some weighty topics in a non-threatening manners. Discussing the choices of characters is not personal. We can disagree, discuss, and pass judgement without any personal pride investment. There are numerous great resources to help put together your own Mother-Daughter Book Club. Scholastic offers selections, reading guides, and guidance. This has been a good resource for our group. My favorites though were these two books:
The Mother-Daughter Book Club Rev. Ed.: How Ten Busy Mothers and Daughters Came Together to Talk, Laugh, and Learn Through Their Love of Reading was written by Shireen Dodson. She’s the mom in the pair that started their own book club for many years. They enjoyed reading and growing together. This book was very inspirational for me. It captured the kind of environment and relationships that I hope to establish over time. I have faith that we can be successful and nurture one another as well. They found a workable structure for themselves. They have a good list of age appropriate, engaging, and thought provoking books. There are discussion guides included for some of their favorites.
Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs by Cindy Hudson is another resource that I find valuable. This is the road-map to success. The nuts and bolts of start with this step, consider this, plan that…. those sorts of situations and challenges that one might not anticipate.The recommended book lists were a great reference list as we started to learn the commonalities in our reading preferences. I think that these two books are a great tool kit to get any group off on the right foot.
The mother-daughter book club gathers much of it’s strength from the addition of daughter’s friends and their mothers. This is a great opportunity to bring in other viewpoints to add richness to the discussion. Remember the purpose of my Mother-Daughter Book Club is to aid in shaping my girl’s choices and maintaining a close relationship with her. Yours might vary. But let this purpose guide whom you invite into the group. This was a challenge a bit for me. There are mother & daughter sets that I greatly enjoy. They are funny, entertaining and warm my heart. But our fundamental beliefs are so different that I have concerns. Do I want someone who is combative and disrespectful of organized religion discussing belief systems? Or someone that thinks that women only belong in the home to shape career choices? My determining factor is whether they are able to be tolerant and respectful of other’s beliefs. I did feel it necessary to add an extra filter here. I enjoy the company of very opinionated and varied women. I don’t offend easily. But when I think of inviting others into my village to help mold my daughter, I feel an extra level of responsibility to her.
We are still early on in our book club with just a few meetings under our belt. As time goes on, I look forward to sharing our successes and challenges with you. I hope to inspire you to consider creating a book club of your own, if you’re not in one already. Are there any mother-daughter groups out there?