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Tag: parenting
  • "The kids who are getting this process praise, strategy and taking on hard things and sticking to them, those are the kids who want the challenge."

    We all want to motivate Mighty Girls to be their best, but did you know that how you praise girls can make a big difference to their resilience and self-confidence? Stanford professor Dr. Carol Dweck, one of the world's leading researchers in the field of motivation and the author of the bestselling book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, has found that there is a strong praise paradox for girls: "Praise for intelligence or ability backfires," she asserts. By understanding why telling a girl things like "you're so smart" can actually make her less confident, and by finding more effective ways to praise girls instead, parents and teachers can help foster an attitude that keeps them striving for success — even when the going gets tough. 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

  • Girls' self-confidence often takes a big hit at puberty but these skills can help keep her confidence strong during the teen years.

    “A pre-teen girl is at a unique moment in her life. The spark that is her potential grows more intense, yet she'll have to fight against gender norms that threaten to diminish it," observes writer Rebecca Ruiz. "There are countless ways she'll feel pressured to hide or change her authentic self.” Rachel Simmons, an expert on girls' development and author of the parenting book, Enough As She Is, agrees: "Girls are at their fiercest and most authentic prior to puberty." While research has confirmed that girls' self-confidence often drops after puberty, Simmons asserts that there are many ways parents can help girls keep their confidence strong during the teen years. To that end, she recommends "seven skills to consider teaching your daughter by the time she turns 13" that will help your Mighty Girl feel prepared for the challenges ahead. 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. 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 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

  • "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

  • The authors of the bestselling confidence guide for girls share advice for parents on how to stop the steep drop in confidence common among tween girls.

    Katty Kay and Claire Shipman are on a mission: helping tween girls keep their confidence so they can be resilient, empowered adult women! As authors of The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance - What Women Should Know, they've helped millions of adult women understand how to build their own confidence, but they frequently heard from women who wanted to know how they could help their tween and teen daughters. Kay and Shipman worked with a polling firm to learn more about the issue and were shocked to discover that girls' confidence drops by 30% between the ages of 8 and 14. "Right until age 8, there's really no difference [between girls and boys] in confidence levels," Shipman says. "We were surprised at how quickly, how deep that drop is." 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 Psychology Today, 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

  • 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

  • Children, especially girls, begin to withhold friendship as a weapon as early as three years old.

    Parents are often startled to realize that relational aggression — using the threat of removing friendship, ostracism, and other forms of social exclusion — can appear in children as young as three years old. For children that young, the experience of being pushed away by a friend can be utterly baffling, provoking anxiety at daycare or preschool. Moreover, as parents and educators observe these more subtle forms of bullying, it’s becoming clear that they require as much attention as physical aggression. As Laura Barbour, a counselor at an Oregon elementary school, observes, “Kids forget about scuffles on the playground but they don't forget about unkind words or being left out.” Continue reading Continue reading

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