"Until you value yourself, you'll probably be afraid to go out with a Prince. Subconsciously, you understand that life is a mirror: if you don't feel good about yourself – if you don't like yourself – you'll make choices that reflect that lack of self-worth. You'll see a Frogette in your reflection if you're insecure, and a Princess if you know you deserve a Prince."
- Kaycee Jane, Frog or Prince: The Smart Girl's Guide to Boyfriends
You know she deserves better, but until she figures that out for herself, she's likely to be drawn to the fly-eating guys rather than anyone even remotely resembling a Prince.
But what's a frog-phobic parent to do?
Pick up a copy of Frog or Prince: The Smart Girl's Guide to Boyfriends by Kaycee Jane – a fun, tell-it-like-it-is guide to loving yourself enough to insist on being treated well in relationships. Read the book yourself (to gain insights into what your daughter may be thinking and experiencing so that you'll be better equipped to support her) and then pass the book along to your daughter (in the hope that she'll read it). Then have a heart-to-heart conversation with her about healthy relationships and self-respect. (You can't have one without the other. Really.)
Frog or Prince – which is aimed at young women who are trying to make sense of the often crazy-making world of dating relationships – encourages young women to figure out what they want for themselves in life; and what they are (and aren't) willing to accept in their dating relationships; and then gives them the tools they need to evaluate their relationships in those terms.
Jane includes a series of fictionalized relationship scenarios to illustrate relationships gone – or going – wrong and to demonstrate how women can dig themselves out of relationship ruts by rewriting the scripts that have led to unhappy outcomes (and attracted a steady stream of frogs) in the past.
She also makes the crucial point that you don't have to have a Prince in your life in order to be happy. (Consider the Prince a nice bonus, if, in fact, you want a Prince at all. Being happy with yourself and the life you're creating for yourself is what really counts.)
Kaycee Jane. Frog or Prince: The Smart GIrl's Guide to Boyfriends. Kaycee Jane Enterprises Corp. 2009. Paperback, 230 pages, $29.95. Available from Amazon.ca and other outlets.
Highly recommended. An iPhone app featuring the various relationship analysis tools that Jane has developed would make a perfect companion to the book. If the app were programmed in a way that allowed the user to set his/her own and his/her partner's sex, more youth could benefit from Kaycee Jane's excellent material.
Ann Douglas is the co-author (with her daughter Julie Douglas) of Body Talk: The Straight Facts About Fitness, Nutrition, and Feeling Great About Yourself.