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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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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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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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Building Healthy Friendships: Empowering Our Daughters to Maintain Balance

Feb 11, 2024

In our ongoing discussions about fostering healthy friendships for our daughters, let's delve into one of my favorite analogies that I use with girls.

Picture a scale that exists in relationships with your daughter on one side of the scale, and as she interacts with other people, the scale can go up or down or stay balanced based on the energies that are exchanged.

When these scales are in equilibrium, it reflects a mutual and respectful connection. Each girl contributes to the scale, creating a harmonious exchange that builds genuine friendships. However, there are times when the scales become imbalanced, often stemming from one party trying too hard to please.Imagine your daughter enthusiastically adding positive energy to the scale, wanting to contribute to the friendship. However, if the other side takes advantage or perceives this eagerness as a weakness, the scales tip drastically. The pleaser scale drops significantly compared to the more socially popular girl, leaving an...

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Should I Contact The Girl's Parents Who Are Being Mean To My Daughter?

Jan 22, 2024

Many parents ask me for advice on supporting their daughters through the emotional turmoil of friendship troubles.

One common question arises: "Should I contact the girl's parents who are being mean to my daughter?"

I understand how confusing and upsetting it is when our daughter's experience hurt, and as a parent, you are actively seeking ways to support her. It's natural to wonder if reaching out to the parents of the girl causing distress would be beneficial.

With three decades of experience working with children and parents, I've found that reaching out to the other parent often doesn't yield the desired results you, as a parent, are hoping for.
Talking to the parents of the child who is causing issues can be complex and delicate.

Plus, there are different factors to consider before contacting the other parent.

The foremost consideration is whether your daughter desires your assistance and believes contacting the other parents would be constructive.

It's crucial to avoid a...

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My Daughter Doesn't Want To Talk To Me Anymore, Why?

Jan 09, 2024

I want to address a poignant question raised by one of my Instagram followers, who expressed concerns about feeling a growing distance between her and her teenage daughter.

It's a challenge many parents face as their children navigate the tumultuous waters of adolescence.

To shed some light on this matter, I turned to Dr. Cam Caswell, an Adolescent Psychologist and Parent Coach, who provides valuable insights into why teens may withdraw from their parents.
Dr. Caswell identifies three key reasons why teens may stop sharing their lives with their parents:

1. Teens Feel a Lack of Active Listening: Teens want to be heard, not just talked at. When parents don't actively listen, it can create a barrier to communication.

2. Feeling Judged: The fear of judgment can be paralyzing for teens. If they sense criticism or disapproval, they may be hesitant to open up.

3. Parental Overreactions: Teens often navigate intense emotions and need a safe space to express themselves. If parents...

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Navigating Worry, Anxiety, and Loss of Motivation with Your Daughter

Dec 12, 2023

In our most recent Brave Girl Tribe call, part of my Life Coaching Virtual program designed for girls in 5th to 8th grade, the girls bravely opened up about their experiences with worry and anxiety. Their courage shed light on a common struggle that many of our tweens and teens face.

This time of year, we often see an increase in worry and anxiety as the demands of school increase, friendship changes and breakdowns happen, and the winter gloomies start.The Fear of Fear: Breaking the Worry Cycle

Some members of the Brave Girl Tribe opened up about fearing their own anxiety, particularly the worry of experiencing a panic attack. It's crucial to recognize that this fear can create a cycle that intensifies anxiety. In our discussions, we've emphasized that avoidance only strengthens worry.

The first step in encouraging our girls to manage their worry and anxiety is to externalize their worry by giving it a name. This helps our girls separate themselves from worry and not get down on...

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Guide Your Daughter Through Overthinking Her Friendship Problems

Nov 06, 2023

We all have those moments when our minds seem stuck in a never-ending loop, like a hamster running on a wheel.

Recently, I have found myself on a hamster wheel replaying a problem repeatedly, and I have noticed I am not alone, as many of my coaching clients are also stuck on their own hamster wheels.

That is why I wanted to share with you information about rumination.

Rumination is a term that describes a common pattern of thinking that many of us experience at times. When we are ruminating, we repeatedly focus on a problem, a loss, or a setback without moving forward into taking action.

For parents and teen girls, rumination often involves obsessing about issues, replaying them in your mind, and getting lost in those thoughts. This constant replaying can deepen feelings of anxiety, sadness, or even self-blame. It's like being stuck in a loop where you can't let go of these negative thoughts, which continue to affect your mood and well-being.

It's essential to recognize that,...

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The Pain Of Growing Up

Oct 29, 2023

Embracing The Magic of Halloween and Growing Up

As we approach the enchanting season of Halloween, I want to take a moment to address a topic that often goes unnoticed but can weigh heavily on our teens and tweens - the bittersweet experience of growing up.

For many of our young girls, Halloween can serve as a poignant reminder of the passage of time and the inevitable shift toward adulthood.

In this blog, we'll explore how to support your teens and tweens as they navigate these complex emotions, acknowledging their sense of loss and offering words of comfort.

 
Halloween: A Time of Transition

Halloween, with its ghosts, goblins, and ghouls, symbolizes the transition from childhood to adulthood in its own way.

As the years pass, our children often find themselves caught between the excitement of celebrating this magical season and the sense of loss as they grow older.

Here's how you can help your teens and tweens during this emotional journey:

Acknowledging Their Feelings:
...

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How To Handle Teen Friendship Challenges: The Do's and Don'ts

Oct 19, 2023

Were you ever part of the Girl Scouts?

I was and absolutely cherish the opportunities to engage with different troops. I have the privilege of working with remarkable Girl Scout troops and focusing on the importance of recognizing how relationships can have a powerful impact on us and the value of inclusivity.

Navigating relationships can indeed be quite a challenge. As parents and mentors, we often find ourselves seeking ways to support the incredible girls in our lives.

In Katie Hurley's insightful book, "Mean Girls No More," she offers invaluable tips for nurturing healthy friendships. I'm excited to share these insights with my Girl Scout friends and wanted to pass them along to you as well.


How To Handle Friendship Challenges

  • Say that you need time to think. You don't have to solve every problem right away.
  • Talk about how you're feeling.
  • Use I- statements to avoid the blame game. For example, "I feel embarrassed when other people make jokes about me."
  • Take responsibility for...
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