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Category: parenting
  • "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 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

  • "We are so busy teaching girls to be likable that we forget to teach them that they have the right to be respected."

    Most parents talk to their children about their emotions, but there's one emotion that people often leave out when talking to girls: anger. "I don’t remember my parents or other adults ever talking to me about anger directly," observes Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger, "Sadness, yes. Envy, anxiety, guilt, check, check, check. But not anger.... While parents talk to girls about emotions more than they do to boys, anger is excluded." In fact, from an early age, parents, caregivers, and teachers expect girls to regulate their emotions more effectively than boys, teaching them that expressing "negative" emotions like anger is socially unacceptable. In this blog post, we'll explore why it's important to let girls be angry – and how to teach girls to channel their anger productively. 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 10, 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

  • 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

  • Many girls interviewed wanted more guidance on what to do if someone harasses them with requests for explicit photos.

    A recent study has shown just how common it is for teen boys to coerce or threaten girls into sending nude pictures: an analysis of 500 accounts from 12- to 18-year-old girls about negative experiences sexting found that two-thirds of them had been asked to provide explicit images — and that the requests often progressed from promises of affection to "anger displays, harassment and threats." In an article discussing the study in The New York Times, psychologist Lisa Damour writes, "Teenagers are drafted into a sexual culture that rests on a harmful premise: on the heterosexual field, boys typically play offense and girls play defense… Most schools and many parents already tell teenagers not to send sexualized selfies. But why don't we also tell adolescents to stop asking for nude photos from one another?"  Continue reading Continue reading

  • From first crushes to first dates, these tips will help you prepare your Mighty Girl for a lifetime of healthy relationships.

    Maybe your Mighty Girl has started talking about a classmate with a dreamy look in her eye, maybe she and her friends giggle over a pop star or movie heartthrob, or maybe she's outright told you she wants to go on a date! "Between the ages of 10 and 13, kids start having crushes and thinking about sexuality and romance, however they envision it," says Dr. Marilyn Benoit, a child and adolescent psychiatrist — and that's uncertain territory for many parents. It's natural to wonder if she's ready to enter the dating world, or to want to protect her from a broken heart. At the same time, these early dating experiences provide an opportunity for parents to help their girls lay a framework for future healthy relationships. It's no wonder that parents are often at a loss for how to support their daughters as they enter this new phase! 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

  • 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

  • Easy conversation starters to show Mighty Girls that you care about her mind, her feelings, and her fascinating self!

    'Tis the season for holiday gatherings, which means starting conversations with friends and family you don't see very often — including little girls. At such times, no matter how dedicated you are to girl empowerment, it's all too easy to fall into the stereotypical, appearance-based comments as a way to break the ice, especially with younger girls. After all, we've all spent years being taught by society that the best way to start a conversation with a little girl is to praise how pretty her dress is, how sparkly her nails are, or how cute she looks. However, with many girls developing body image concerns as early as 1st grade, it's time to move past a fixation on girls' appearances. And, of course, as we all know, girls have so much more to contribute to the conversation — all we have to do is ask! Continue reading Continue reading

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