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Tag: parenting
  • The top tips from experts on building girls' resilience to take on challenges and overcome setbacks.

    Call it what you will — grit, determination, a can-do attitude — but it all comes down to the same thing: being able to keep going in the face of challenge and even failure is a major component of a child's future success. "The ability to persist in the face of difficulty may be as essential to success as talent or intelligence,” says psychologist Lisa Damour, Ph.D., author of Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions Into Adulthood. Moreover, with research showing that girls are more likely to feel the need to be perfect and to struggle with confidence when they make even small mistakes, it's particularly important to raise resilient girls. As Rachel Simmons, author of Enough As She Is, explains: "What we want is for girls to have is the capacity to move through a setback without beating themselves up." Continue reading Continue reading

  • "More often than not, bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable."

    Parents of bright girls are often shocked to discover that their daughters can be quick to assume that they can't succeed at something new and challenging. "In my experience, smart and talented [girls and women] rarely realize that one of the toughest hurdles they'll have to overcome to be successful lies within. We judge our own abilities not only more harshly, but fundamentally differently, than men do," writes psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson, the author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently. "At the 5th grade level, girls routinely outperform boys in every subject, including math and science... [but] bright girls [are] much quicker to doubt their ability, to lose confidence, and to become less effective learners as a result." By understanding why bright girls question their capabilities, parents can find more effective ways to support their daughters, building their resilience and confidence so they can take on the world. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's Father's Day tribute showcases our favorite books celebrating the special father-daughter bond.

    A father is a special presence in a girl’s life: he supports, encourages, and loves his daughter, even as he models to her what a man can be. Father’s Day provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this unique and important relationship in the lives of many Mighty Girls. Whether they’re dancing with their babies, walking in the dark and snow with their little girls, or teaching their tweens and teens to be self-sufficient, the fathers in these books know a thing or two about raising Mighty Girls! Continue reading Continue reading

  • "As her father, you have the power to make certain she knows your love is steadfast."

    While many parenting articles focused on girls' physical and sexual development are directed toward mothers, psychoanalyst Joyce McFadden asserts that fathers have an important role to play in supporting their daughters' healthy development at all ages. In particular, she says that fathers have a major influence in "three hugely important facets of how she'll see herself in the world throughout her life," specifically, in "her level of personal confidence, her body comfort and pride, and [her] expectations for the way she should be treated by boys and men." Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's favorite books about the special love between mothers and daughters in honor of Mother's Day!

    On Sunday, May 12, people in over 80 countries around the world will celebrate Mother’s Day — a day dedicated to celebrating mothers and the contributions they make to their families and to their broader communities. For many Mighty Girls, their relationship with their mothers is a very special one, since Mom is their model for just how mighty girls and women can be. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Experts offer tips for parents on building girls' confidence in math.

    “Why do smart people enjoy saying that they are bad at math?” laments Petra Bonfert-Taylor, a professor of engineering at Dartmouth College. “Few people would consider proudly announcing that they are bad at writing or reading.” After seeing one too many examples of adults “passing on [mathematical anxiety] like a virus,” Bonfert-Taylor has an important message for math-phobic parents and educators: “We are passing on from generation to generation the phobia for mathematics... [and] as a result, too many of us have lost the ability to examine a real-world problem, translate it into numbers, solve the problem and interpret the solution.” Continue reading Continue reading

  • When 80% of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat, here are ways parents can help girls develop a positive body image.

    "'I’m fat.' Those are just two little words, five letters in total, but coming from your daughter, they’re enough to make your heart totally sink. How could a girl who’s typically so kind and accepting of others be so disparaging of herself?" According to the Girl Scouts, 80% of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat because "they’re constantly surrounded by both subtle and direct messages that curvier or heavier girls aren’t as well liked, aren’t as likely to succeed in business, and in general, aren’t going to have as much fun or happiness in their lives." So what can parents do to counteract such widespread cultural messages? In an insightful article, Girl Scout Developmental Psychologist Andrea Bastiani Archibald offers parents several tips on how to respond when your daughter says she's fat and how to build her overall body positivity. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Unhealthy perfectionism has become a growing contributor to teens' rising anxiety.

    Many tweens and teens struggle with anxiety and perfectionism, and parents often bemoan that "she puts so much pressure on herself." Rachel Simmons, an expert on girls' development and the author of Enough As She Is, however, says that perception puts even more pressure on kids. "The very phrasing of the statement — 'on herself' — lays blame for distress at the feet of our teens, rather than a culture that is stoking the flames of their anxiety," she writes. "It puts the onus for change on kids — just chill, we seem to be saying, and you’ll be okay!" With a recent study finding a 33 percent spike in the number of teens who feel they have to be perfect to win approval, including from their friends and parents, it's more important than ever to acknowledge what teens are going through and help them develop strategies to deal with perfectionism. Continue reading Continue reading

  • The seven essential body positive lessons every Mighty Girl should learn.

    One of the most freeing feelings in the world is loving yourself just as you are — but in a world where girls are constantly bombarded with messages about what their bodies should look like, raising them to be body positive can feel like an impossible task. A study by the Girl Scouts found that 80% of 10-year-old girls are afraid of getting fat, and other studies have found that 85% of women and 79% of girls have opted out of activities due to a lack of body confidence. With kids and teens being exposed to narrow standards of beauty in media, marketing, and online, many adults may wonder what they can do to turn the tide. Continue reading Continue reading

  • 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

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