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The Brave Girl Blog Navigating Friendship Challenges and Confidence

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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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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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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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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Nurturing Empowerment and Friendship: Practical Tips for Teenage Girls

Oct 14, 2023

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...

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Strategies to Overcome Anxiety and Cultivate Lasting Friendships

Oct 02, 2023

In the last blog, we began a journey to help our daughters overcome shyness and anxiety in social situations. We explored the beliefs and assumptions that often contribute to these feelings. Today, we're delving deeper and providing strategies to change those anxiety-provoking thoughts.

Questions For Changing Anxiety-Provoking Thoughts
Examining the evidence is one of the most powerful tools in combatting anxiety-provoking thoughts.

It's crucial to recognize that our beliefs are not facts; they are merely guesses or hypotheses about how things are.

Here are some questions to help both parents and girls navigate this process:

How do I know for sure that my prediction will come true? Challenge the certainty of your thoughts. Just because you believe something doesn't mean it's guaranteed to happen.

What do my past experiences tell me about the likelihood of my thoughts coming true? Reflect on past situations where you had similar ideas. Were your predictions accurate, or did things...

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Why can't my shy daughter make friends in school?

Sep 30, 2023

Parents often ask me how they can help their shy daughters make friends. When I am asked this question, it makes me think of my younger self. One thing you may not know about me is I was a shy girl growing up. I often worried about what other people thought of me and if people would like me.

I understand how challenging it can be to make new friends. During those moments of trying to connect with others, it can feel lonely, and it might seem like it's taking an eternity to form meaningful bonds.

As a parent, I also know that this journey can leave you feeling powerless, wishing that others could see just how special and unique your daughter truly is.

The first step in supporting both our daughters and ourselves is becoming aware of our beliefs and assumptions about ourselves.

Shy teen girls may have various beliefs that contribute to their shyness or social anxiety. These beliefs can be limiting and affect their ability to make friends and engage in social situations. 

...

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9 Thought Habits & Challenge Questions To Help With Automatic Negative Thoughts.

Sep 07, 2023

 I was incredibly fortunate to attend a Sting concert and let me tell you, it was absolutely amazing!

Listening to him perform "Message In A Bottle" brought back a flood of memories from my teenage years. Even after all this time, the lyrics still tug at my heartstrings.


The lyrics resonate with me, reminding me of all the girls heading back to school, feeling like they're castaways on lonely islands, but here's the truth: they're not alone in feeling alone. A whole sea of girls are out there, all searching for their place to belong.

Over the past few weeks, I've received numerous messages from parents reaching out for guidance on supporting their daughters during these challenging transitions in school and friendships.

 I created an Instagram Reel with tips on this very topic:

1. Create a Safe Home Space: Ensure your home is safe and welcoming, where your daughter feels comfortable sharing her experiences.

2. Manage Your Emotional Reaction: Managing your emotions when she...

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