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Category: resilience
  • 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

  • Caitlin Kirby wore a skirt made out of 17 rejection letters to her dissertation defense.

    At her dissertation defense last month, Caitlin Kirby wore a one-of-a-kind, handmade skirt — made out of 17 rejection letters that she had received over the last five years! The 28-year-old Michigan State University grad student, who has spent the last 4 1/2 years working towards her PhD in environmental science and policy, says that the rejection letters had come from other PhD programs, scholarships and academic journals. Kirby says that she created and wore the skirt "in the spirit of acknowledging & normalizing failure in the process," observing that “the dissertation presentation is in this narrative form, where … it looks like everything went smoothly in my process from start to finish. So I wanted something in my presentation that shows that really isn’t how it goes. There are a lot of roadblocks along the way." Continue reading Continue reading

  • "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

  • "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

  • 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

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