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.
As I celebrate another year of life, I find myself reflecting on the past, particularly a poignant memory from my 13th birthday. Turning 13 marked a significant milestone, and I couldn't wait to celebrate with my friends.
On that anticipated day, only one friend was able to attend my sleepover party. The rest were away on a ski trip, leaving me with a mix of embarrassment and hurt. I couldn't help but wonder why I hadn't been a part of that ski trip with them. The disappointment ran deep, and it's a feeling many of us have experienced in our lives.
Friendship disappointments can cut deep, and that experience was no exception. What I've learned as an adult is that we often personalize these situations, making them about ourselves when, in reality, they may not be.
I share this personal story not only as a reflection on my past but to acknowledge the universal struggles that girls face in...
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...
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...
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:
This past Friday night, I attended our local high school's first football game of the season. It was heartwarming to witness the high schoolers hanging out with their friends; the palpable excitement and butterflies in the air were infectious. Admittedly, I observed their social dynamics more than the game itself – though I know that our team emerged victorious!
As I watched these interactions, I couldn't help but wonder about the inner thoughts of these teens following their moments with friends. Sometimes, body language can be a revealing storyteller, hinting at those instances where Automatic Negative Thoughts might have crept in after their interactions.
Stepping into a brand-new school year, the whirlwind of change and the rapid shifts in our surroundings can sometimes trigger automatic negative thoughts.
In this Blog, we're on a mission to unpack some of these typical thinking patterns that we might come across. Getting a handle on these patterns can give us the...
As August begins, I can't help but feel the back-to-school blues, even though I'm no longer a student or a school counselor. Now, I'm a parent supporting a high schooler, and it's time to get myself and my son back into the school routine.
Does back-to-school stress you out too?
Thankfully, my son has been working all summer and getting up early, so we aren't too far from our regular school routine. Another relief is that he no longer experiences the anxiety he used to have during elementary school. However, I know that many families and kids struggle with the anxiety that comes with the uncertainty and stress of starting a new school year. In this newsletter, I want to share some tips on how to support your child through the worry and anxiety that often accompanies the beginning of the school year.
I'm also excited to announce an updated course that will be released soon, designed to support middle school girls and their parents, called "Survive and Thrive In Middle School." The...
Hi Brave Friends,
This last week in The Brave Girl Tribe, my virtual online community for girls in 5th to 8th grade, one of my girls asked for tips on how to handle if you have a friend that is nice to you but mean to other people and you are starting middle school together in the fall.
It can be a challenging situation to navigate. Here is the advice that I shared with her to help her manage this situation:
1. Recognize their behavior: Acknowledge that your friend might struggle with social skills or feel insecure around new people. This can help you approach the situation with empathy and understanding.
2. Discuss their behavior privately: Find an appropriate time to talk to your friend privately. Express your observations about how they come across to others and how it might affect their ability to form new friendships. Be gentle and non-judgmental in your approach.
3. Offer constructive feedback: Provide specific examples of situations where their behavior may have...
Hi Brave Parents,
Is your teen stressed about getting a job? Maybe they just don't know where to start, feel overwhelmed, and simply are stuck and not taking action.
I know as a parent, we want the best for our tweens and teens, and part of that involves equipping them with the necessary skills to succeed in life. I recently shared in a Facebook Live my new course, Success Starts Here.
This is a comprehensive online program designed to empower young individuals with the knowledge and tools they need to thrive professionally.
Here are some of the reasons that you need to get this course for your tween or teen.
Filling the Gap in Traditional Education:
One of the key reasons why the Success Starts Here course is crucial for tweens and teens is that it fills a significant gap in traditional education. While schools provide academic knowledge, they often overlook essential life skills vital for workplace success. This course bridges that gap by teaching practical skills...
I recently conducted a poll on Instagram asking my followers if they had ever been rejected by a friend who joined a more popular group. Shockingly, 100% of them had gone through this experience. In The Brave Girl Tribe, this is a common topic among the girls.
Pursuing popularity can be problematic as it often overrides healthy social skills. For teens, popularity is more about social dynamics and seeking power and status, which can lead to fear and aggression among peers.
A study from the University of Virginia found that preteens who were most concerned about being popular tended to act older and more mature and were more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors. Interestingly, the group of tweens who acted more mature were the more popular kids in middle school but were the least socially successful as young adults.
To help your daughter seek genuine friendships rather than the pull of popularity, ask her what qualities she values in her friends and if her current friends meet...