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Category: friendship
  • How parents can encourage mixed-gender friendships and help kids question gender stereotypes.

    "Girl-boy friendships matter. They give kids a chance to explore themselves outside of constrictive gender scripts, and, ideally, question stereotypes," observes writer Elisa Strauss on CNN. "Girl-boy friendships can help undo some of these socialized gender constraints. When parents and teachers approve of these relationships, they are sending their children the message that it's not only okay to play with the another gender, but it is also okay to play like them."  Continue reading Continue reading

  • Too often girls and women view each other as competition or threats, rather than allies -- here's how to change that.

    Too often, girls and women are taught to think of other girls and women as competition or even threats, not as allies. In fact, Caroline Adams Miller, a positive psychology expert and the author of Getting Grit, says that when she asks female professionals if they feel like one of the biggest challenges they face isn't just how they are treated by men but also getting torn down by other women, "It’s not half the room raising their hands — it’s 100 percent of the women." When girls are empowered and confident, however, they can learn how to team up in ways that encourage and support one another, making it more likely that all of them will find success! Phyllis Fagell, a professional school counselor, spoke with a variety of experts for a recent Washington Post article to find out why girls are prone to see one another as competition — and how parents can encourage them to build empowering friendships that lift each other up instead. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Violence and aggression are never signs of love or affection.

    When girls get teased, harassed, or bullied by boys, there’s often someone who pulls out this tired phrase: “I bet he likes you!” Joanna Schroeder vividly remembers finally going to a teacher about a boy’s constant harassment at age 11, and how that phrase made her feel: it “filled me with a shame so profound, I never again told an adult about something a boy did to me.” Years later, she observes that “you’d think blaming bad behavior on a crush would be dead and gone by now, but it’s not.” To encourage parents and other adults to think about what “he must like you” really teaches kids, she breaks down several reasons we need to stop associating mistreatment with romantic affection. Continue reading Continue reading

  • "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 girl-empowering books for children and teens about making friends and coping with friendship challenges.

    Whether they are in the midst of making new friends or renewing old ones, learning to navigate the complexities of friendship is an important part of growing up. In this blog post, we've showcased our favorite fictional stories and non-fiction guides that can help children and teens learn how to form and keep positive, healthy friendships. From the first introduction to the first big fight, these timely stories will help your Mighty Girl learn how to be a great friend at every age!

    The recommendations shared in this post are just a small sample of Mighty Girl books on friendship. For hundreds of options for both children and teens, visit our Friendship section. Continue reading Continue reading

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