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The Brave Girl Blog Navigating Friendship Challenges and Confidence

Guiding Your Daughter: Effective Strategies for Managing Finals with Confidence

May 08, 2024

Anxiety can build as final exams and standardized testing season approaches. It’s a critical time for our students, especially those managing ADHD. Let’s explore how we can help our daughters feel less overwhelmed and more empowered during this stressful time of year.

Navigating the educational journey with your tween or teen girl can be both rewarding and challenging, particularly when ADHD is part of the equation. This condition can affect executive functioning, making it difficult for your daughter to plan, prioritize, and execute tasks. Understanding this can help us support them better.

Instead of asking, "Have you started studying for your finals?" here are some other helpful ways to check in with your daughter that hopefully won't shut her down, especially if she procrastinates because of stress. 

When we check in, ask:

"How can I help you study for your finals?"
"Would it be helpful for me to be an accountability partner to help keep you focused and on...

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You Are More Than Enough!

Apr 30, 2024

Life can throw a lot at us. For parents, the mix includes juggling work, managing the home, and being there emotionally for our kids as they tackle their own challenges.

Our tween and teen girls are navigating the tricky waters of school life, dealing with the pressures of friendships and the constant comparisons that come with growing up.

Amidst all this, a common thread weaves through our experiences—the inner critic.

The Inner Critic is the voice that whispers doubts and insecurities, making you feel inadequate and fearful of failure.

It might tell you:

"No one likes you!"
"Why bother trying out for the team when you're not that skilled?"
"That test score was just a fluke."
"This outfit isn’t working. Why did you think it would?"
"You're just not smart enough!"
"You’re too annoying to be likable."
"You're dull; do you ever do anything exciting?"

Everyone has an inner critic, a negative voice, or what some call a self-saboteur. It acts like a frightened child,...

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Social and Emotional Life Skills for Your Daughter's Journey after High School

Apr 24, 2024

Essential Social and Emotional Life Skills for Your Daughter's Journey Ahead

As our daughters prepare to graduate high school and embark on their journey into the world of work or college, it's important to equip them with the necessary social and emotional life skills. These skills will not only help them navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead but also enable them to thrive in various personal and professional situations. 

Go over this list with your daughter and assess which life skills she needs to learn. Then, plan to set aside time to go over these essential skills. It will be a valuable opportunity for her growth and development as she prepares for adulthood.

Start by discussing each skill and determining her level of knowledge and experience. For skills she already possesses, acknowledge her strengths and encourage her to continue practicing and refining them. For skills that she needs to learn, break them down into manageable steps and create a roadmap...

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Why Being Excluded Hurts: Parent Strategies for Supporting Teens

Apr 23, 2024

This week, a concerned parent shared with me a difficult situation their daughter is experiencing, which may resonate with many of you.

"My daughter was recently informed by two friends that she and her best friend are not included in their prom plans. The reason given was that the group doesn't like her best friend. Out of concern for her friend’s feelings, my daughter has chosen not to share this reason with her. She confessed to feeling deeply hurt by what she considered her closest group of friends. My daughter is conflicted about encouraging her best friend to find someone else to go to prom with and seeing if she could still join the larger group. She’s upset about missing out on the group activities, especially the large group pictures at prom. She’s starting to suspect that the group's issue with her best friend might actually be a pretext for excluding her as well. Seeing her so affected by this situation leaves me unsure about the best way to support her...

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ADHD And The Art Of Friendship

Apr 17, 2024

Welcome to The Brave Girl Project Blog!

If you're new here and haven't yet accessed our free Resources for Parents of Girls with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Click here to download 

Let me share a bit of my own ADHD journey: In school, I often felt overwhelmed and struggled to focus. Despite having many friends, I frequently felt different and had difficulties managing my emotions. It wasn't until I was 44 years old that I received my ADHD diagnosis. Through my experiences, I've realized there are many women like me, who may have received a late diagnosis or are still searching for answers, wondering why things seem so challenging.

I see more girls receiving an ADHD diagnosis now, but I also hear from those who are struggling in school, trying their best but finding it difficult to pay attention. Some teachers may not recognize these girls' internal struggles, focusing only on external signs of hyperactivity.

If you are one of my friends diagnosed with ADHD, I...

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Navigating Through Friendship Breakups, Rising Above Affirmations!

Apr 15, 2024

It can be so hard for our daughters to navigate through the ending of a friendship.

Recently, a client shared her struggles with the ending of a friendship. This young girl finds herself grappling with a whirlwind of emotions: grief, anger, frustration, and confusion, all while sharing a classroom with someone she once called her best friend (If your daughter is feeling intense emotions but has a hard time naming them, download my Feeling Wheel - (Download now.)

Each day brings challenges for my client, from interpreting sidelong glances to understanding the shifting dynamics of recess alliances. It's as if an invisible line has been drawn in the classroom, dividing former friends and compelling my client to feel she must rally others to her side in a silent battle for companionship.

Similarly, many teens experience the fallout of friendships within their broader social circles, leaving them to navigate the delicate balance of still being in a larger group with someone they are...

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Friend Groups vs. Cliques: Guiding Teens Toward Authentic Connections

Apr 09, 2024

Last week in The Brave Girl Tribe, several girls shared that they had found themselves at a crossroads between the allure of cliques and the warmth of genuine friend groups. While both avenues promise a sense of belonging, the journey within can vary significantly, with cliques often leading to isolation and the yearning for authentic connections.
Cliques: A Cautionary Tale

Here is what you need to remember about Cliques. Cliques are inherently exclusive, creating barriers that are more divisive than unifying. They often foster power imbalances, with a dominant figure dictating the norms and expectations. The cost is steep for girls caught in this web: their authenticity is compromised as they mold themselves to fit in, often at the expense of genuine relationships. However, the facade of stability in a clique is just that—a facade. As dynamics shift, the fallout leaves these girls adrift, confronting the stark reality of their solitude.

One of the girls in The Brave Girl Tribe...

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Unlocking Children's Potential: Modeling Resilience and Self-Control

Mar 12, 2024

This past week has been filled with enriching experiences aimed at fostering a supportive environment for our children and students. I had the privilege of participating in various workshops and presentations emphasizing the importance of nurturing positive relationships and addressing anxiety in our young ones.

I had the honor of attending the SPACE Workshop led by Dr. Eli Lebowitz. This course provided invaluable insights into supporting parents in guiding their anxious children. It reinforced the significance of communication and instilling confidence in our children to navigate life's challenges. I am excited to apply the lessons I learned to the parents and girls that I support.

Next, I was honored to conduct Staff Development Training at Fairview Elementary via Zoom for all their amazing teachers and staff. My presentation focused on "Supporting Positive Friendships in the Classroom." It was heartening to see educators coming together to address the nuances of relational...

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Supporting Children Through Anxiety

Mar 08, 2024

One thing you may not know about me is that I love to learn.

I am surprised by my love of learning as I was not an eager student in high school, but today, I am excited to participate in the SPACE Program training with the Yale Child Study Center led by Dr. Eli Lebowitz. SPACE stands for Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions.

As a parent I have supported my child when they have felt anxious and I am sure you have had to support your child through their worry or anxiety as well. It can be so challenging to know what to do and if what you are doing is helping your child or making their anxiety worse.

One key insight from Dr. Eli Lebowitz is that our accommodations as parents can sometimes maintain anxiety rather than reduce it. Children are hardwired to detect threats, while parents are naturally motivated to protect their children. This dynamic can lead to a cycle of accommodation that reinforces anxiety.

The SPACE Program teaches parents how to become more supportive...

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Parenting Through Friendship Struggles: Signs to Watch For

Feb 19, 2024

I understand firsthand the challenges of supporting our daughters through rejection, friendship drama, and their journey to find their people.

Research indicates that parents often experience their children's emotions deeply, which can be especially true when daughters face friendship challenges. It's exhausting to help your daughter navigate school, friendships, and the complexities of social dynamics. Feeling a mix of anxiety, stress, worry, and heartache is natural when you see your daughter struggling to fit in or find her way.

Research also suggests that parents have a strong instinct to protect their children from harm, including emotional pain. When we witness our daughters grappling with friendship issues, we may feel a strong urge to step in and solve the problem, even though we know it's not always possible. This can lead to feelings of frustration and helplessness.

In moments like these, it's important to remember that you're not alone. Many parents are facing similar...
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