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The Brave Girl Blog Navigating Friendship Challenges and Confidence

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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Does your daughter have A.N.T.s: Automatic Negative Thoughts?

Aug 29, 2023

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...

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Empower Your Child's Emotional Growth

Aug 15, 2023

As parents, we embark on a beautiful journey with our children, witnessing their growth and development at every step.

Along this path, we encounter moments of joy, laughter, and love, but we also face challenges and complexities that can be overwhelming.

As our children grow and navigate new emotions, they may struggle to find the right words to express what's happening inside. That's where the "Feeling Wheel" becomes an invaluable tool – a compass guiding the ups and downs of emotions in our homes or even during car rides.

We want to help our kids to develop their emotional literacy and learn how to describe emotions beyond "Happy," "Sad," "Mad," and "Scared." When we ask our children how they feel, their answers are often limited.

"Happy," "Sad," "Mad," and "Scared" are fundamental emotions, but the richness of our emotional landscape extends far beyond these four labels. The Feeling Wheel unlocks a treasure trove of emotions, giving our children a vocabulary to...

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Conquering Back-To- School Worries

Aug 11, 2023

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...

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6 Tips To Help Support Your Daughter Through Challenges

May 31, 2023

Hi Brave Parents,

As your daughter navigates the challenges of growing up, it's natural for her to encounter moments of disappointment and unfairness. As a parent, you have the power to provide support and help her overcome these hurdles. 

Here are six tips to make the journey easier:

1. Listen and Validate: When your daughter is experiencing disappointment or feelings of unfairness, the first step is to listen to her and validate her feelings. Let her know that you hear her and that her emotions are important.
2. Provide Perspective: Help your daughter put things in perspective by reminding her of all the things she has accomplished and overcome in the past. Encourage her to view setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow.
3. Encourage Positive Self-Talk: Self-talk is a powerful tool for managing emotions. Encourage your daughter to practice positive self-talk by using affirmations such as "I am capable" or "I will overcome this challenge."
4. Help Her Find a Healthy Outlet:...

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Popularity vs. Friendship

Apr 26, 2023

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...

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