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Category: bullying
  • "This type of bullying is marked by crimes of omission... yet the pain, humiliation, and isolation are unmistakable."

    The world of friendship and social status can be a challenging one for girls. Bullying prevention expert Signe Whitson observes that "adults often struggle with the question of, 'Should I intervene in a child's friendship problems?'" However, she asserts, "Kids need adult support and insights when it comes to navigating the choppy waters of friendship, disguised as a weapon." In an insightful Psychology Today article, Whitson, a child and adolescent therapist, provides tips for parents who want to help their girls through friendship conflicts and teach them how to find good friends. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of bullying prevention and empathy-building books for young children.

    “The End of Bullying Begins With Me” is the message of National Bullying Prevention Month and at A Mighty Girl we believe that’s absolutely true! By teaching our children about bullying — what it is, the effects it has on everyone, and the ways that we can stop it — we can work to ensure that bullying becomes a smaller and smaller part of all our lives.

    With that in mind, we’ve put together a series of three blog posts featuring Mighty Girl anti-bullying resources for all ages. In this first part of the series, we’ll showcase books for preschool and early school-aged children that address bullying from a variety of angles, while in the two remaining blog posts, we’ll recommend resources for tweens and teens and resources for parents and educators.

    For Mighty Girl books on bullying prevention for older girls, check out our post, Taking a Stand Against Bullying: Bullying Prevention Books for Tweens and Teens. For bullying prevention resources for adults, visit our post, Leading the Way: Bullying Prevention Books for Parents and Educators.

    Of course, these are just a selection of the great anti-bullying books out there. For more books for all ages on bullying, visit our Top Books on Bullying Prevention for Mighty Girls special feature or our Bullying & Teasing book section. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of bullying prevention books for tweens and teens!

    As kids enter puberty and their bodies and emotions start to change, bullying takes on new challenges: not only do relationships become more complex, but self-esteem is often more fragile and popularity can seem so much more important than it did a few years ago. So it’s particularly important for parents to continue offering their children resources to develop their understanding of relational aggression and bullying! Whether your Mighty Girl prefers to read fiction about the topic, or enjoys a non-fiction guide, there is material in this blog to help her unravel the complexities of bullying in middle school, high school, and beyond.

    For Mighty Girl books on bullying prevention for younger girls, check out our post, The End of Bullying Begins With Me: Bullying Prevention Books for Young Children.. For bullying prevention resources for adults, visit our post, Leading the Way: Bullying Prevention Books for Parents and Educators. Continue reading Continue reading

  • "There is a real need to draw a distinction between behavior that is rude, behavior that is mean and behavior that is characteristic of bullying.”

    Signe Whitson, a child and adolescent therapist and author of 8 Keys to End Bullying and The 8 Keys to End Bullying Activity Book for Kids & Tweens, has a timely message for parents and educators: “there is a real need to draw a distinction between behavior that is rude, behavior that is mean and behavior that is characteristic of bullying.” In a Huffington Post article, she clarifies the way she identifies the difference and asks adults to remember that distinguishing between them allows “teachers, school administrators, police, youth workers, parents and kids all know what to pay attention to and when to intervene.” Continue reading Continue reading

  • bully-prevention-parents

    In order for our Mighty Girls to learn how to stand up against bullying, they need the help of the adults in their lives. Parents, teachers, school administrators, coaches and others in the community can have a powerful impact on children's attitudes toward bullying and how they will respond if they experience or are witness to it. But it can be challenging for adults to know when typical childhood conflict turns into a pattern of bullying, and to decipher when they should step in and when they should let children resolve their own conflicts.

    In this third part of our blog series for Bullying Prevention Month, we focus on resources for parents and educators that explore the problem of childhood bullying and provide strategies for raising caring, kind children and handling those times when children aren’t so kind.

    For Mighty Girl books on bullying prevention for young children, check out our post, The End of Bullying Begins With Me: Bullying Prevention Books for Young Children.. For bullying prevention resources for older kids, visit our post, Taking A Stand Against Bullying: Bullying Prevention Books for Tweens and Teens. Continue reading Continue reading

  • "The mean-girl thing is happening much sooner than everyone realizes.”

    Parents often think that relational aggression — including social rejection, manipulation, and exclusionary cliques — starts in middle school. For writer Carol Kaufman's daughter, it started in the fourth grade, these types of bullying often start at even younger ages. "The mean-girl thing is happening much sooner than everyone realizes," her elementary school's counselor told her.

    Bullying in childhood can have a lasting impact, says Catherine Bagwell, a professor of psychology at Emory University who studies children’s social development: it is "associated with depression and anxiety and social withdrawal and low self-esteem and academic problems." So it's important to tackle the problem early on, whether your daughter is the one being targeted or excluded, the one leading the pack, or one of the bystanders who's not sure how to handle the situation. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of guides for girls in middle & high school -- and their parents!

    Parents of younger Mighty Girls looking for books about school can find recommendations in our first post in the series: Back-to-School Books About Mighty Girls’ Adventures at Elementary School.

    Tweens and teens have a lot on their plates: more academic material to learn, increasingly complicated social relationships, busy extracurriculars, and more. On top of that, they have to adjust to their increasing independence and even start thinking about the career direction they'd like to take. Put it all together and it’s no wonder that tweens and teens report being stressed out by school!

    Fortunately, there are some great books out there to help tweens, teens, and their parents to work through these stresses and make their middle school, high school, or college experience positive and empowering. In this blog post, we're showcasing our favorite guides for tween and teen Mighty Girls, tackling everything from standing up against bullying to building confidence to learning important skills like perseverance and self-direction. We even include some great resources to help your Mighty Girl learn about a wide variety of fascinating careers — maybe one will be the job of her dreams! And for parents, we include a selection of books to help you understand how your relationship dynamic will likely change as she goes from a girl to a grown woman, as well as what she's going through behind her school and bedroom doors.

    These years may be a tumultuous time, but they're also an exciting one! We're hoping that these resources will help you and your girls get the most out of the tween and teen years.
    Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of books for parents on raising a Mighty Girl from the toddler through the teen years.

    Parenting is always an adventure, but parenting a Mighty Girl can often seem particularly challenging: in a time when girls and their parents receive so many conflicting messages about what it is to be a girl, it's hard to know how to guide them to becoming confident, capable women. From the sexualization of increasingly younger girls to the new world of social media to old problems like bullying in the school yard, there are many challenges to growing up —  and parenting —  in today's world.

    A Mighty Girl created our Parenting Collection of over 200 books to provide resources for the parents in our community who want to know how to tackle issues specific to girls, whether they're toddlers or teens. To get you started exploring our collection, we've put together a list of some of our favorite resources for parents of Mighty Girls. These books are informative, interesting, and most importantly provide real-world advice for how to help your girl grow up Mighty. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Editor's Note

    In early July, 14-year-old Mighty Girl Carleigh O’Connell took a courageous stand against body shaming and taught the kids at her school -- and people around the world -- an inspiring lesson about the power of self-confidence. When Carleigh heard from kids at her school that someone had written a body shaming slur across a large cement barrier at a beach in her New Jersey hometown, she decided to pose proudly for a picture with the graffiti in plain view.

    After our Facebook post about Carleigh reached four million people and her story went viral, Carleigh wanted to share more about her story and offer advice to other teens who might also experience body shaming or bullying. Her guest blog post, as well as a selection of resource books and organizations for young people seeking advice or help, is below.

    By Carleigh O’Connell, Guest Blogger

    carleigh-oconnell Carleigh in front of the graffiti

    How does a 14-year-old girl stand up on a graffiti-covered rock that makes fun of her body, take a picture, and then have the picture go viral on the internet reaching over 4 million people? Well, it happened, and it happened to me.

    I am not really sure what made me step up on the rock that day. I do know that I didn't hesitate to do it. I knew it my heart it was right, and looking back, I would make the same decision if I had it to do over again. This entire experience has been a whirlwind, and I have learned so much. One of the most valuable lessons I've learn is that sometimes you have to stand up for yourself when no one else will, and do what people don't expect you to do.

    The way I saw it, I had a choice. I could have just walked away, cried in my room or tried to ignore it altogether, but that wasn't an option for me. I knew the moment I saw the graffiti that I had to respond, and that's exactly what I did. I responded back to someone's hurtful behavior instead of becoming the victim and letting them get away with it.

    Some call this bullying; I just call it "mean." Whoever wrote this wanted to bring attention to themselves. I can only assume that they were trying to be funny or cool around their friends at my expense. So, I turned the tables and highlighted the fact that it wasn't about them, it was about me, and I am not okay with being someone's target or springboard for popularity. Continue reading Continue reading

  • By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    When your Mighty Girl was young, you probably marveled at her incredible confidence: no matter what she wore, said, or did, she did it with a big grin that said, “This is who I am, like it or not!” But as kids get older, they start to be affected by the opinions of others, especially their peers. So the 3-year-old who proudly declared, “I’m the best!” can turn into a 5-year-old who says, “Nobody at school likes me!” or “I can’t do that — it’s for boys!”

    Fortunately, while it’s normal for children to have bumps in the road where they question their worth, parents can do a lot to make sure that the bumps are small and that their daughters pass them quickly! By reading books about girls who face challenges to their self-esteem — either from questioning themselves, or brought on by disapproval from others — and overcome them, parents can teach their daughters that everyone struggles with self-esteem sometimes but that everyone is valuable and special in her own way.

    For more reading recommendations, also check out our post on Confidence-Building Books for Mighty Girls. And, if your Mighty Girl experiences self-esteem struggles related to body image, you may also find helpful resources in our post on Ten Body Image Positive Books for Mighty Girls.

    Believing in Yourself

    stand-tallAppearance is often the first thing we think of when talking about self-esteem. In Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, by Patty Lovell and illustrated by David Catrow (age 3 - 8), Molly Lou is tiny and buck-toothed, but it doesn’t doesn’t bother her one bit while Grandma’s around. Grandma always says, “Believe in yourself and the world will believe in you too!” But then Molly Lou has to move far away from her old friends — and beloved Grandma — and soon the local bully is calling her “shrimpo” and “bucky-toothed beaver.” Fortunately, Molly Lou remembers her Grandma’s words and sets out to prove herself — and in the end, even the bully is won over by her talent and determination.

    In Crafty Chloe, by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Heather Ross, Chloe isn’t good at a lot of the things her friends like — dancing, video games, sports— but she’s great at making crafts! So when London manages to get the perfect gift for their friend Emma’s birthday, Chloe declares that she’s going to make Emma an even better present you couldn’t buy in a store. But London’s response — “Good luck with that!” — rattles Chloe’s confidence and pride in her talents. Soon she’s not sure she’ll ever come up with a good idea. In the end, though, not only does Chloe get the inspiration she needs, but what she makes just might help save the day for London too. Continue reading Continue reading

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