Author: Dilvin Yasa
Dilvin Yasa is an accomplished journalist who suffered the same fears that all of us as first time parents face. What if I’m not around to see my child grow up? Who will tell her all the things she needs to know? How do I ensure that my daughter knows all the things I want to tell her?
In answer to these questions Dilvin Yasa sat down and started writing letters to her baby daughter that contained all the things she wanted her daughter to know to help prepare her for adult life. These letters have been compiled to form the book ‘Things My Daughter Needs to Know’. Each letter marks the beginning, and basis, of a short chapter containing all the advice she has relating to the subject addressed in the letter.
Yes, these letters are addressed to Cella and written by her Mummy but they are a great resource for every woman and I plan to keep a hold of this book for my daughter when she’s old enough to appreciate it. This pretty pink book contains all the advice you want your daughter to have but at times you may be too uncomfortable to tell her or she may be too embarrassed to discuss with you.
The bond between mother and child is special and often many faceted, even when it’s an extremely close relationship there may be things you aren’t comfortable discussing or that her immediate reaction is fingers in ears *la la la I can’t hear you*; which is something I am pretty sure I remember doing to my mum. Nevertheless some of the advice in these pages is stuff I wish I had been told even if I couldn’t cope with hearing it from my mum and that I think are important for my daughter to know.
What I love the most about this book is Dilvin Yasa! Right from the beginning her voice is filled with warmth and you know this is coming from a place of love for her daughter but it’s so much more than that. She is straight-forward and brutally honest in saying that she isn’t the world’s best mother, she doesn’t know everything and she is less than conventional but these are things she has learned in her life, often the hard way, and she wants to share the experience.
Yasa’s voice is witty and conversational without a trace of preachy. Her advice is candid and straightforward and she does not pull any punches. At times the advice borders on confronting, but necessarily so, and there are times throughout the book that she swears but not excessively and usually for emphasis. The letters may be maternal advice and a matter of opinion but the chapters following them are well thought out and researched information set out and explained simply.
Even now as I read this at thirty-something years old I cringe at the thought of having conversations quite that frank with my mother or my daughter so this is a resource that can be really helpful for opening those lines of communication.
The other thing I really love about this book is that every chapter closes with a lined page headed: Things I’ll Tell My Daughter so that as a mother you can read it and add your own pieces of wisdom – and you can always cross out any points you don’t want to advise your child.
Covering topics like career, money, health, dating, sex, safety, drinking, drugs, tattoos, pregnancy and motherhood there aren’t a lot of areas that you will be left inspiration-less in advice for your daughter.
To open the book there is a letter to parents from Dilvin explaining a little about where she’s coming from with the book, and it is her suggestion that you could use it to open lines of communication by leaving it out where your teen will find it and hopefully pick it up.
Thank you Dilvin for a delightful read that I understand and agree with as a mother while still finding it entertaining. I will definitely be hanging onto it as required reading for my teen daughter.