Friendships, as beautiful and fulfilling as they can be, are not always smooth sailing. We've all encountered the stormy seas of misunderstandings, conflicts, and the inevitable ups and downs of maintaining meaningful connections.
In 2016-2017, ROX Institute's Girls Index Survey found that a staggering 76% of girls reported that they believe most girls are in competition with each other. This statistic has left a lasting impression on me and evokes a sense of sadness.
This staggering statistic reminds us of a troubling truth. While friendships hold the potential to be incredible sources of support and joy, they can also become tangled webs of competition and misunderstandings, particularly among young girls. It highlights the urgent need to equip ourselves and our daughters with the tools to foster healthier, more collaborative connections.
How can we help our girls become champions of other girls?
Helping girls become champions of other girls involves fostering a culture of support, empowerment, and positive relationships among girls.
Here are some ways to encourage this:
Model Empathy and Respect:
Be a role model by demonstrating empathy, respect, and kindness towards others. Girls often learn through observation, so your actions can have a significant impact.
Encourage girls to be inclusive and reach out to others who may be left out. Teach them the value of making everyone feel welcome and accepted.
Emphasize the importance of diversity and celebrate the unique qualities and talents of each girl. Show them that differences can enrich their lives and friendships.
Encourage Open Communication:
Teach girls effective communication skills so they can express their thoughts, feelings, and needs clearly and respectfully. This helps prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.
Discuss Media and Peer Influences:
Talk to girls about the media's portrayal of girls and women and how it can influence their self-esteem and relationships. Encourage critical thinking about stereotypes and unrealistic beauty standards.
Teach Conflict Resolution:
Provide girls with tools for resolving conflicts peacefully. Teach them to listen actively, find common ground, and seek compromise rather than resorting to competition or aggression.
Help girls build self-confidence and self-esteem. When girls feel good about themselves, they are more likely to support others and be less threatened by their peers' success.
Support girls in developing leadership skills and taking on leadership roles. This can boost their self-confidence and empower them to lead by example.
Facilitate mentorship opportunities where older girls can mentor younger ones. These relationships can provide guidance, support, and inspiration.
Encourage girls to challenge stereotypes and gender biases when they encounter them. Teach them to question unfair expectations and to stand up for themselves and others.
Create Safe Spaces:
Establish safe environments where girls feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment. This can include girls' clubs, support groups, or online communities.
Support and Encourage Achievements:
Celebrate girls' achievements, whether big or small. When one girl succeeds, it's an opportunity to cheer her on and encourage others to reach their goals as well.
Educate About Healthy Relationships:
Teach girls about healthy, respectful relationships. Discuss consent, boundaries, and the signs of unhealthy or abusive dynamics.
Encourage girls to collaborate rather than compete. Emphasize the value of teamwork and how working together can lead to greater success for everyone.
Acknowledge Effort, Not Just Outcomes:
Praise girls for their efforts, resilience, and determination rather than solely focusing on the outcome. This helps them value the process of learning and growing.
Engage in Activities That Promote Empowerment:
Involve girls in activities that promote empowerment, such as sports, arts, or volunteering, where they can build skills, confidence, and a sense of purpose.
Seek Support from Female Role Models:
Encourage girls to seek guidance and inspiration from female role models who have overcome challenges and achieved success in their respective fields.
The Brave Girl Tribe is a virtual community for 5th to 8th-grade girls. This is a safe community where girls can connect with one another while gaining the skills they need to live life bravely.
Each week, we have a coaching call on Sunday evening at 7 pm EST/ 6 pm CST/ 4 pm PST. There are lots of resources and tools that you and your daughter will have access to, plus our online community, where she can reach out and gain support for the challenges she is facing.
If you are interested in having your daughter join us or if she would like to be our guest to check out what it is like to be a member, we would love to have her join us. To learn more about our program or schedule your daughter as a guest, you can schedule a chat with me by clicking on my calendar. To find out more about The Brave Girl Tribe, visit our website. If you'd like to register your daughter as a member, use this coupon for a 50% discount on the first month's membership.