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The Brave Girl Blog Navigating Friendship Challenges and Confidence

Get Your Tween or Teen Ready For Summer!

May 22, 2024

As summer beckons with its promise of endless possibilities, it's the perfect time to dream big and plan even bigger! This year, we're taking the summer bucket list to a new level of excitement and personal growth.

Why Create a Summer Growth Bucket List?
Summer isn't just a break from school—it's a vibrant season to explore new interests, master skills, and push the boundaries of what you think is possible. Whether your daughter wants to dive into a new book series, learn a digital skill, or start a mini-business, there's no limit to what she can achieve with a bit of imagination and a lot of inspiration.

I've created a Summer Bucket List PDF featuring six unique worksheets designed to help you and your daughter craft a summer filled with cherished memories. Drawing on my experience as a school counselor, I often faced what I call 'summer regret' when returning to school, realizing I hadn't accomplished everything I'd hoped during the break—a sentiment echoed by my...

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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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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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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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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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