What I did on summer break: I got by with a little help from my friends!

Have you ever put your heart and soul into something you love to do, and at the end felt spent? That’s where I’m at currently, emotionally and physically drained, but happy as a clam and incredibly content. It’s the best kind of tired I know of. Here’s a sampling of maybe the best summer I’ve ever experienced. I ran three one-week camps for girls, in addition to two four-day father-daughter … [Read more...]

How adolescent girls can find happiness

In light of 2 weeks of summer camp recently spent with middle and high school girls, I can once again state with certainty that the widely reported low self-esteem and overall demise of adolescent girls has been greatly exaggerated. It’s time to shift our beliefs about girls and support them differently. When the girls arrived at my camp, they were feeling the typical mild anxiety inherent in … [Read more...]

Mother/Daughter workshop

Join Dr. Tim and Anne Jordan for a mother/daughter workshop sponsored by Girls in the Know organization.  Held at St. Margaret of Scotland school from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.  Topics covered will include:  Building Healthy Relationships and Social Media Space is limited so must sign up in advance. … [Read more...]

The Worst Invention Ever For Girls

In the early years if the 20th century, something happened in American homes that changed the way adolescent girls felt about their appearance. And the effects became a runaway train that hasn't slowed down since. The change? Electric lights and running water came into bathrooms, and along with it sinks. And above the sink:  a mirror! Prior to that time, the only opportunities for girls to get … [Read more...]

Girls Need Quiet Spaces to Gather Themselves

The only journey is the one within.      Ranier Marie Rilke Adolescent girls undergo the Heroine's Journey whereby they transform from a girl to a woman. One aspect of this developmental process involves metaphorically "sleeping", meaning girls need time to retreat from the world in order to  grow in wisdom and confidence until they are ready to meet the challenges of being an adult woman. This … [Read more...]

Legally Blonde: A Modern Fairy Tale

Some of my middle school girl campers encouraged me to watch the movie Legally Blonde, and I'm glad I did.  Like in the old versions of fairy tales, there are some valuable metaphors in there that are good reminders for adolescent girls. Reese Witherspoon's character, Elle, starts out as the queen bee of a sorority house, ruling the roost in a catty but powerful way.  She's willing to give … [Read more...]

Adolescent Girls Lose Self-Esteem? I Don’t Buy It!!

We have been reading in the literature since the 1970's that girls starting in middle school lose their self-esteem and don't get it back for years.  But from my experiences working with girls at these ages, I don't buy this mantra. I wrote in a recent blog about our "spa night" at our all-girls camp, trying to capture the spirit of that week.  What girls have demonstrated to me over and … [Read more...]

Girls and Body Image

I had a group of high school girls and boys at my camp last week draw pictures of the ideal woman at the age of 21 years.  I separated the boys and girls for the drawings, and then had each group share their work with the other.  The results should be a wake-up call to anyone who loves kids. I asked them to describe this woman based on what they had been seeing, hearing, and experiencing  from … [Read more...]

A Spa Night at Camp

I just finished spending a week with 50 girls going into the 5th-9th grade at my Strong Girls Strong World Camp. When I told people what I was going to be up to, most of them rolled their eyes and and said something to the effect of: "Why would anyone want to spend a week with hormonal girls embroiled in mega-drama?" Actually, why would you NOT want to hang with girls of this age? By the way, … [Read more...]

A Fish Out of Water

I have decided that all the people who have been telling us for the past 40-50 years that girls lose their self esteems in middle and high school are off the mark. They have missed the forest for the trees. Can adolescent girls  have moments when they feel and act insecure? Of course. Are there times when they seem to lack confidence? Yep. But that is true of each and every one of you who are … [Read more...]