StorkNet interview with
Yasmin Shiraz
Author of
The Blueprint for My Girls: How To Build a Life Full of Courage, Determination & Self-Love

Yasmin Shiraz

Yasmin Shiraz is an empowerment speaker, entertainment journalist, entrepreneur, and author. A graduate of Hampton University and Morehead State University, she uses her sociology training to empower young people through her writings and workshops. For many years she owned the leading urban entertainment magazine on college campuses, Mad Rhythms, which reached over four million students. She currently runs her own marketing and management firm, The Signals Agency, which specializes in entertainment marketing and youth event programming. Yasmin resides in the suburbs of Washington, DC.

Drawing on her own teenage diaries, she shares her most painful, shameful, sobering, and also triumphant experiences to serve as a roadmap and moral compass through the terrifying and thrilling transition into womanhood. "Learn from my mistakes," Shiraz urges her young readers.

In an authentic and empathetic voice, THE BLUEPRINT FOR MY GIRLS offers ninety-nine expressions of self-validation. For each, Shiraz presents a heartfelt personal testimony, followed by a principle for living and questions for serious contemplation. Throughout, girls as young as twelve, and as old as twenty-two, will find inspiration in the words of wisdom about self-respect, personal integrity, courage, achievement, and perseverance. They'll also take comfort in candid discussions of sensitive issues, including weight and body image, romantic betrayal and date rape, and coping with divorce and death. Shiraz divides the journey for every searching, striving, struggling adolescent into three phases:

Your FOUNDATION is where you build who you are going to become in life.

Your COMPOSITION is where you arrange your life options, decisions, challenges, and experiences to assist in preparing yourself for womanhood.

Your FORTIFICATION strengthens your life and reinforces decisions and experiences that empower, motivate, and encourage you to become a strong, proud woman.

Insightful, uplifting, and empowering, Shiraz's expressions to guide young women include:

  • Be a person of hope.
  • Be able to say you're sorry.
  • Don't waste time judging others.
  • Understand the gift of being female.
  • Don't waste time on self-indulgence.
  • Embrace new friendships.
  • Don't allow fear to paralyze you.
  • Stand united with your family.
  • Deal with the truth.

Throughout and above all, Shiraz encourages every young woman to keep a positive outlook, remain determined, and expect to make mistakes. Although she speaks directly to teens, her book also has a lot to say to parents grappling for a way to connect with their daughters about everything from peer pressure to the importance of believing in herself. For any young woman who feels isolated, misunderstood, helpless, or hopelessly confused, THE BLUEPRINT FOR MY GIRLS is a welcome voice of reassurance and a steadfast friend in need.

THE BLUEPRINT FOR MY GIRLS
How to Build a Life Full of Courage, Determination & Self-Love
by Yasmin Shiraz

A Fireside Original/Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: February 2004
Price: $12.00
ISBN: 0-7432-5214-4

As mothers of young, preteen and teenage girls, we often struggle alongside our daughters through each dilemma, worry and difficult stage, hoping to guide them through turbulent times. We clearly remember feeling alone or insecure. We painfully recount the cruelty of peer pressure and need to belong. As adults, we would like to impart some wisdom and understanding, but often, it's difficult to know how to let our daughters know that we do understand "where they are coming from."

Yasmin Shiraz, is here to help! In her book, she sends out a gift of understanding, support and motivation. She understands how our daughters feel. She has spoken, heart to heart, with many of them across the country. In this special interview, Yasmin answered member questions which are posted here.


StorkNet Staff: Hello, Yasmin, and welcome to StorkNet. Thank you very much for taking time to visit with our community members and visitors. As you know, we are made up mostly of mothers-in-waiting, moms and dads, sisters, aunts, grandmothers and girls of all ages. Your topic is one of interest to us all, because as you have said, it's an interesting journey into womanhood! We all want to discover how to understand and support each other, and be the best we can be. Before we get started, can you tell us how, when and why you decided to write this book? What feedback have you gotten, and where are you going next?

Yasmin: I decided to write this book in 1998 when while visiting college campuses, young women would ask me questions about life after attending my "How to Get Into The Entertainment Business Seminar." I began to take notes regarding their questions I was being asked and I compared them to the journals from my teenage and young adult years. I found that similarities existed with my experiences and the challenges that young women were facing. So I decided to adapt my diaries and write The Blueprint for My Girls to help them. I've gotten feedback from teens and young women who have said that the book has given them a sort of hope that they can get through their own problems. I've gotten feedback from guidance counselors and people who work in the social work field who have said that this book FINALLY gives girls an upbeat perspective to how they can handle the ups and downs in life. Mothers have told me that this book is the one book that their daughters will read and some mothers have said that this book has improved their communication with their daughters. Next up for me is: The Blueprint for My Girls Documentary where I tape girls and they give their opinions on some of the greatest crises that they are facing today. And, of course, The Blueprint for My Girls in Love which is my book on dating, relationships and intimacy. I expect that book to be out June 2005.

StorkNet Staff: Sharing from your own diaries and experiences adds honesty and trust to what you are telling our girls -- that personal touch is heartwarming and believable, and one of the reasons they are listening to you. We'll be anxious to hear more about the documentary, and the Girls in Love book! Here are some questions from our readers...

Kylie: Yasmin, How do I nurture tolerance in my daughter, when today's society is so lacking in it?

Yasmin: Tolerance is often nurtured by confronting stereotypes. You can confront stereotypes by talking to your daughter about them and always ask her to put herself in the position of other people. Also, consider having her volunteering at non-profit organizations that serve people who are often the topic of stereotypes, for example, a homeless shelter, a community center, a battered women's shelter, etc. In fact, hospitals are a great place to start volunteering, you meet people of all races, creeds and colors.

Dawn: Hello Yasmin, My daughter is 14. She is a beautiful, smart, clever, talented person. She is at a point right now where she is giving up everything she once enjoyed doing because nothing seems to be "fun" anymore. She seems to be giving everything up but isn't finding anything new to take it's place.

To make matters worse we are a military family and very soon we are moving from a small community in Germany to the N. Virginia area. The school will be much bigger and finding a place in it harder. My worry is because of moving she will be lost, have no footing or place to land in her new school. Any suggestions on how to help her find her passion. Something to hold onto especially in this critical transition time? Teens are hunting for themselves and in High School find a group of friends they relate to. I worry she doesn't know where she belongs right now and will end up someplace undesirable. Thank you for your time. Dawn

Yasmin: I'm saddened to know that your daughter is abandoning her old activities and isn't replacing them with any new ones. You've probably already done this, but talk to her about why those activities aren't any fun anymore. Were other people the reason that she stopped participating? Try to keep her in at least one activity even if you must do that activity with her, like a mother/daughter karate course.

Moving is very challenging on families. I recommend you trying to get as much information on the community that you're moving into. If you're moving into Northern Virginia, surf the web and get information on Fairfax County and Loudoun County which are the larger counties in Northern Virginia. If you know what county that you are moving into, find out about the programs that are offered by the YMCA and recreational centers. Northern Virginia has a great Parktakes catalog that has hundreds of activities for young people. In addition, find out your daughters school and ask about their activities. Perhaps she'll want to do one of those activities that were similar to what she did in Germany.

Remind your daughter that participation in activities will assist her in finding new friends. There are some good books about moving and being the new kid on the block. She is probably really feeling uncomfortable about the move and could use some outside guidance. As far as finding your passion, passion is often found when we are being active. If your daughter will be old enough to get a part-time job, allow her to do so. Working may give her a new sense of self and renew her interest in some other activities. Also, look for teen groups in Northern Virginia, I believe they have some especially for girls. The libraries are a great resource.

Debbie: I'm hosting a gathering of 20 & 30- something girlfriends for a weekend retreat. Can you offer any ideas on activities for my "workshop on womanhood?"

Yasmin: Have participants bring in articles about inspiring women who were featured in the newspaper. These could be simple articles that feature women in key situations where the news is happening. Allow the women to each stand up in this retreat and share why they were moved by the stories. Have each participant define what womanhood is to them. Then have each participant write down 3 goals that they want to accomplish. It would be great to have them talk about their goals, if everyone doesn't want to share their goals, allow for a brainstorming session where the women are discussing 3 steps of actions that each of them is going to take to reach their goals. Reinforce the thought that womanhood is often an action as much as it is a person or a state of mind.

Stephanie: I was just wondering, do you have any advice on how to encourage our daughters to steer clear of the "friends" that like to gossip about others... and insist on playing the "you're not my friend" today game, but the next day come back and ask "wanna hang out at lunch today?"It's getting very old and confusing to both my daughter and me. My advice seems to be taken as "mom, that's too corny, I can't do/say that!" Any suggestions? Thanks!

Yasmin: People who say that they're your friend one day, but not the next aren't true friends. Encourage your daughter to interact with other kids that similar games may be played on -- perhaps in that group she will find truer friends. As far as gossiping goes, if she's in a group that's gossiping, she could try to change the subject, step away or begin a different conversation with someone else. Her friends that gossip could really be great friends except for the gossiping. So it may not be wise to drop the friends on the shortcoming of gossiping alone.

Kathy: My best friend is currently struggling with her 9-year-old daughter. The girl is very tall and looks more like 14-15 than 9! Therefore, she stands out whenever she is with her peers. The girl now is getting a complex about being fat and ugly, which she is definitely NOT! It is very hard to build up her self confidence although we are relentlessly trying. Do you have any tips for us?

Yasmin: Have your friend involve her daughter in sports and other activities where her height is an asset. Consider having the girl participate in self-defense and karate type classes which have shown to build self-confidence. If she is in fact overweight, encourage your friend and her daughter to begin walking together after dinner or exercising together doing an activity that's particularly enjoyable for the daughter.

Crystal: Dear Yasmin, I'm 14 and just read that you are here. I hope you will answer my question. My friends are starting to have sex. Well, most of them and I feel like the only one who hasn't yet. My mom tells me not to and my 19 yr old sister is like all "save it, don't do it now." But it's like I don't know how to keep saying no and I don't know what the big deal is either way. I know I don't want to get pregnant and I won't, but sometimes I think I don't know the future anyway and what am I saving it for.

Yasmin: Many teens, particularly those 18 and younger come to regret having sex at an early age. Many girls think that having sex with their boyfriend is gonna make him love, respect and want to be with them forever, but it does not. Sex also comes with a set of complications and responsibility like birth control, teen pregnancy and preventing STDs. Most teens who are physically ready to have sex are not mentally ready to handle all of the responsibilities. That's why your sister is saying, "Save it for Later." Who needs the headache? Also, if you're continually asked about having sex, you can say, "No, I'm not trying to go that route." I was recently conducting a teen workshop in Cincinnati and the guys were saying, "I'm practicing abstinence because I don't want a girl to ruin my life if she gets pregnant." Well, obviously there's another side to that coin, but you can be strong and not have sex if you don't want to.

Kay: Do you think your book stands up as a great work of feminist literature?

Yasmin: As what I understand feminist literature to be, I do not believe that The Blueprint for My Girls fits within that category. This book shares with teen girls the challenges that they face as they journey from girlhood to womanhood. It gives them options of how to deal with life. I think it's a great book for teens who are asking questions and going through issues in their lives.

January: How can you approach a parent when you know her daughter is in crisis? Should you approach her, is it your business? Do parents REALLY want to know?

Yasmin: January, it's honorable that you care enough about another person's child to be even thinking about it. However, if you're not a professional who deals with that kind of crisis in your every day profession, approaching a parent may result in undesirable consequences. If you know a teen is in crisis, I would recommend you attempting to verify this crisis to the best of your ability through your existing channels and then connect with a guidance counselor or a professional in that field who could consult with the teenager directly. I cannot say if all parents want to know if their children are in crisis or not. But the fact is: if a teen is in crisis, they probably need someone's help.

Karee: Yasmin, sometimes I can't sleep at night and I lay awake all night thinking about stuff. Like if I will meet the right husband. Everyone I know has parents who are divorced. Is marriage really worth it? If I will go to college - heck, if I will graduate from high school. I'm afraid of making decisions or the wrong ones and sometimes I just feel bored and angry. Sometimes I'm just angry because we don't have money to do the things I know I want to do. So then I cry a lot and feel depressed. My mom says I will grow out of it but that doesn't help. It's hard and I'm trying to find something good. How did you get through it, and can you help? Karee.

Yasmin: It's natural to have apprehension about your life especially when you're a teenage because it's a time of change. But, it's good that you're thinking so far in advance with your thoughts of college, marriage and what not. The answers to these unsettling thoughts will come to pass. As you go through high school, more information about college will be revealed to you. And marriage isn't something you have to even think about as a teen. I know what you're saying about divorce though, it can be scary. But there are lots of people who are married and who are happy. Perhaps, years and years down the road, you will be one of those people. Thoughts of finances can be stressful for adults and young people so if you're old enough and can do so, you should think about getting a part-time job. Frustration often comes when we feel powerless to change our situation. Working will give you money that will help relieve some of the financial pressures that you are feeling. Sometimes crying feels good to let it out, and other times it may make you sadder. If you are crying about a particular situation, take out a piece of paper, write down what you don't like about it and list things that you want to do about it, and do what you can to change that situation. Focus on one thing at a time.

Jordynn: My daughter is 17 and going off to college next year. I'm at that place where I'm wondering if I've prepared her well enough for leaving home. Last minute worries, you know? How can I give her some special gifts from her mother over the next year, ones that don't seem awkward or preachy, but are jewels she can rely on when things are tough, when decisions are hard for her, when she's homesick, or is at a crossroad of some sort in life? Help? Thank you, Yasmin. Jordy

Yasmin: I don't know how much your daughter likes to read, but my book The Blueprint for My Girls address some situations that girls go through at college. Feedback from some of the readers say that the book is encouraging to them while they are away from home. Other books that I would also consider are: Chocolate for a Teens Soul and Chicken Soup for the College Soul. Sometimes reading can connect to us in a way that talking cannot. Many girls also like small tokens that serve as reminders to them of the people who love them or the goals that they've accomplished. Giving your daughter a special bracelet that may say something like, "You're destined to succeed in anything you do." Every time she puts this bracelet on, she'll feel good about whatever challenge that she's facing. Perhaps a pillow or blanket that would have a special message would also be encouraging and definitely needed in the dorm! I understand that you really love your daughter, she is so lucky to have you. Try to remember that even when she goes away to college she still needs you to encourage her, even if she says that she doesn't. Feel free to send her care packages at college of her favorite things like fruit, lip gloss, and cookies. This will definitely get her through some of the rough days at school. And for you, feel good that you have instilled enough confidence and self-love in your child to make her want to strive to meet her goals.

Suzanne: Yasmin, I have daughters - they are ages 3, 7 and 9. I want to instill self-worth, courage, a sense of well-being, trust, and all those wonderful things mothers want to show and teach their daughters (and sons!). I realize that now is the time, and that every day counts, every example I set counts, and every reaction I have matters. What a lot of pressure. (smile) Can you give us some pointers and guidance?

Yasmin: Suzanne, it's so wonderful that you know what you want to instill in your daughters and that all of those things are positive! My research tells me that girls who are involved in uplifting and encouraging social activities have a greater sense of self-worth and trust than those who aren't participating in social activities. I mean activities like Girl Scouts, or a girls group that has a purpose like doing volunteer work or even tutoring other kids. Additionally, involving kids in sports like the girls soccer team, basketball, volleyball, softball are all good ideas. Sports allows for the girls to learn about team work and the teammates are very encouraging to one another which fosters good self-esteem, well-being and self-confidence. For a child who doesn't enjoy team or group activities, karate classes and piano classes are great ways to build self-worth and courage. You mentioned that every reaction that you have matters and that's true. But, if you put your love of your children first and try to be as consistent as possible in being an excellent mom and great role model, I believe that your kids will turn out great.

Elisabeth: Yasmin, please tell me about you book. Beth. Age 11.

Yasmin: The Blueprint for My Girls is a book that has 99 different situations that girls go through from 13 to 21 or so. Each situation in the book has a personal testimony from me. The testimonies came from the diaries that I've keep since I was 11 years old. It's a non-fiction book and is separated into three chapters: Foundation, Composition and Fortification. I wrote the book after I kept meeting girls who were asking me questions about life and they wanted my opinion. The Blueprint for My Girls gives my experiences and my opinions.

Arianna: My cousin died and don't understand why bad things happen. I don't know how to help my aunt. Sometimes I don't know why God lets it happen to us.

Yasmin: Arianna, I don't understand why bad things happen either. In my book, The Blueprint for My Girls I write about that exact topic. It is beyond our knowledge to understand why bad things happen, but we have to accept that something bad has happened and we have to move on with our lives. If we spend too much time trying to figure out why it happened, we will not have enough time to live or enjoy our time on earth. I know it is hurtful when bad things happen to good people, but I believe that God must have a reason even if I don't understand it. Also, just because I know that it's beyond my understanding, and it's beyond my control, I don't pretend to like or appreciate or be happy about when bad things happen to good people. And, when I meet God I will probably tell him that point. I encourage you to do the same. You can help your aunt by sending her notes of encouragement, trying to spend some time with her or calling her to let her know that you care about her. When people are mourning, they are often isolated. Let her know that you are there for her and visit, call, or write her when you call. It will help her.

Danielle: Yasmin, is your book good for moms too? And is it just for girls?

Yasmin: I've been told that the book has been a talking piece for mothers and daughters. It helps daughters in communicating what they are going through and it helps moms to remember what they went through when they were teens. The older that we get it is easy to forget all of the crazy things that happened to us when we were teenagers, so this book helps mothers a lot. When my mom read the book she said to me that she didn't know that I was going through so much. It brought us a lot closer and she understands me a lot more. The Blueprint for My Girls was written for girls but I'm continually told that guys could learn a lot from this book. I believe that also.

DeDe: What is the best way to help my daughter develop a high self esteem without crossing the conceited side?

Yasmin: Have your daughter's esteem developed from setting goals, teamwork, and individual accomplishments. Encourage your daughter to participate in peer groups that work together, a volunteer group would be an excellent example. If you daughter joins a team like a sports team this will increase her trust and responsibility toward others. Group activities and team sports increase self-confidence while at the same time humbles its participants because of the kind of activities that they do and the group work ethic. Additionally, encourage your daughter to out-do herself. For example, encourage her to try new things, like playing the guitar, trying a yoga class. The more that we encourage our kids to diversify their activities, we're teaching them to dig deep within. The reward is high self-esteem with inner peace and outer consciousness.

Tiffany: My sister has a teenage girl that wants to wear tight revealing clothes and they battle all the time about what she is wanting to buy. How can she make her understand that she is not trying to be mean?

Yasmin: Please tell your sister to convey to her daughter that clothing makes a statement about the kind of person that we are whether we want them to or not. As a mother, your sister doesn't want her daughter's clothing to make her daughter look cheap, sleazy or make her look like she should be a victim. Have your sister share stories with her daughter about how clothes can make people mistake the kind of person that someone is. Hopefully, it will get through to her daughter. Also, if your niece likes magazines, suggest that your sister and niece go through the magazine together and pick out stars, or outfits that people are wearing and discuss them. That's an excellent way to get a dialogue going.

Libba: I have one daughter and I want to raise her with a better sense of self esteem than I had growing up! Mine was pretty low - I have worked really hard to improve my vision of myself but don't want my daughter to have to do the same. Any tips?

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Yasmin: Libba, Since you have a great sense of your self-esteem as a teenager, re-examine what you think made you have low self-esteem. What were the factors? Now, look at your daughter. Are those factors existing in her life as well? If they are, look at what you can do to influence those factors or change them. My guess though is that you're doing a much better job in building her self-esteem than you think you are. At any rate, encourage her to engage in team activities like sports or girls groups. And, try not to criticize but encourage your daughter in any way that you can. It goes a long way to making a girl feel good about herself.

Jen: Hi, Yasmin. My husband comes from a family of 4 boys. Unfortunately his mother and father made boys out to be better than girls. We have family dinner w/ them every Sunday, and I have noticed little things that have been said that would imply all girls do is cry, be dramatic, cook, clean, and be "girly." My question is: My daughter is 18 months old - Do you think that these things being said by her grandmother and great grandmother will have a large impact on her? I am definitely NOT into stereotyping the sexes and will not bring her up to think that if she doesn't enjoy cooking and cleaning that she is not a real woman. Thank you.

Yasmin: Jen, unfortunately things said in your daughter's presence by her grandmother and great grandmother definitely can have an impact on her. Especially if you or your husband don't counter their biased information with some better information. Your daughter may not be registering what's being said at 18 months but at the age of 2, 3 and 4 kids become increasingly aware of what is being said to them and/or about them. It makes me sad that some people will say things no matter how wrong or hurtful they are just because it's their opinion. It seems like when we get old enough to realize that people can be damaged by our hurtful comments, we would do something about saying hurtful things.

Brenda: What can we do as women and mothers to serve as good role models for the young girls in our lives?

Yasmin: Brenda, be an active participant in your daughter's lives and spend time - just the girls. For example, be willing to do constructive things with them and things that they enjoy - going skating, seeing a particular movie, attending church services. In addition, as much as possible, behave in a way that your daughter can admire. Daughters get so much of their strength from their mothers and so many of their weaknesses as well. By being a strong mother and a good role model, your essence will rub off on your daughter. Daughters and mothers are truly each other's cheerleaders. Try to instill that value into your daughter.

Jennifer: Your book sounds great! I have an eight-year-old daughter who is becoming a "little lady" much too quickly for me :o) Do you have daughters of your own or is the book mostly based on personal experience from being a daughter yourself?

Yasmin: Hello, Jennifer! Although The Blueprint for My Girls is a book of my personal experiences, I do have a daughter who is 7 years old. As I wrote The Blueprint, I thought of what my daughter's experiences would be. In my work, although it's not written for her age group, I am forever influenced by my daughter's presence in my life. I cannot write anything, speak to any group, or do any publicity without thinking about how my work could potentially impact my daughter and her friends. I think being a mother has given me even greater insight to the circle of life.

Alexis: How do we teach our daughters to follow what they know is right and not to give into peer pressure?

Yasmin: One of the best ways to teach kids to do what's right is to be a good example of that. If they see that you face challenges in your life but you're doing what's right and not succumbing to pressure at work, from co-workers or from friends, that's great. Also, continue to dialogue with your children about people who did what was right and didn't succumb to pressure from their peers. There are plenty of examples in the news and in some cases television. Try to accentuate cases where people -- young and old -- stood up for what was right. Also, I've heard (haven't tried it yet) that role playing is really good. Maybe you could pretend to be the person who goes along with the crowd, and your daughter could be the person who's doing the right thing. Hey, it might actually be fun, plus it'd be a learning experience. Good luck, Alexis! Good question.

Missy: My daughter is only 5 years old and in kindergarten. She is a fun child, involved in dance and is very outgoing in nature. Lately, she has told me another little girl is being very cruel to her (teasing her about being friends with some of the little boys and also trying to pull my daughter's shirt up because the other little girl says she has a fat tummy (which she doesn't). My daughter is beginning to draw inward because of this. How do I encourage her to remain the person she is and deal with this situation?

Yasmin: Hi, Missy. Teachers at your daughter's kindergarten need to be made aware of this situation so that they can inform the other girl's parents. It is important for you to let your daughter know that she is not wrong even though these hurtful things are happening to her. Let her know that some kids act out in school and do mean things to other kids. But that you are going to work with the school to make sure that this stops immediately. Good luck. I cannot tell you how many times I had to deal with this exact type of issue with my daughter who is now 7 years old.

Summer: Yasmin, I only have a little boy--only eight months old--but when he gets older I hope to teach him how to understand and respect women. I am mostly afraid of the teenage years where these values are most important and I was wondering where and how I should start..since you seem to understand young girls so well, how can I help a young man understand them and grow up to be respectful?

Yasmin: As much as boys learn how to treat women by watching how their fathers treat their mothers, in cases when fathers are not in the home, boys pay attention to how their mothers allow the men in their lives to treat them. Mothers who communicate with their sons about how to treat girls are most likely to have sons who treat women well. My advice to all women who have sons (mine is 9 months old) is to make sure that you are treated with respect at all times and that's how your son will think all women should be treated. Additionally, encourage your son's father to talk with him about male/female relationships when he is of age - especially if you believe he has something positive to say.

Patricia: I have two preteen daughters, 11 and 10 year old, and was wondering how you think I should let them start being independent women without letting them go/do too much too soon? I know this is a very difficult balance and value your opinion on the matter!

Yasmin: Well, the first thing that I would do is have a discussion of "Independence." Is Independence going to the mall without you? Is it wearing clothes that are grown up? Is it doing more chores around the house? Once you and the girls discuss what Independence means to you all as a family, I would begin to have them write a list of the things that they want. And then you should write a list of what each of those things costs. For example if you want to go to the mall with your girl friends, you have to do more chores around the house. I think the key to having balance as it relates to independence is to weigh the other side of that scale with responsibility, chores, accountability and the like. Hey, we gotta remember, as adults our independence costs. Should our kids have it any different? Best of luck, Patricia.

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