What’s most damaging to a girl’s self-esteem? A bad case of the ‘ers

There may be nothing more damaging to a girl’s self-esteem than their own thoughts. Middle school girls have a tough time controlling negative self-talk that courses through their brains, with the cost of them feeling discouraged, angry, depressed, anxious, and inadequate. This “stinking thinking” often takes on the form of what I like to call ‘ers: comparing yourself to others and wishing you … [Read more...]

What is bringing down girl’s self-esteem? Defining themselves by numbers

Too often girls choose to define themselves based on numbers, resulting in ever-present anxiety, self-hatred, and discontent. These digits come in many forms, including how you look and how you perform. The culprits causing this phenomenon are numerous as well. I hope this article awakens you to the impact this numbers game has on our daughters. Where does this story begin? When it comes to … [Read more...]

Why girls need to care

“What movie do you want to see tonight?” “Where do you want to go eat?” The automatic, knee-jerk response from most teen girls to such inquiries is, “I don’t care, whatever you want.” The long-term consequence of not stating their needs and desires is that they often don’t get what they want, and resentment ensues. Little by little, girls give up their power to others. There is an … [Read more...]

How a negative label caused the loss of a powerful female leader

Charlotte was eight years old when she heard the words that would kill her spirit. She overheard her 3rd grade teacher describing her to her mother in words that hurt her soul. “The kids don’t like playing with Charlotte because she is too bossy to everybody, and she always has to have it her way.”  From that day forward, Charlotte became overly careful about every word that came out of her … [Read more...]

How Amy lost her light

Amy’s dad passed away when she was 12 years old, but the biggest harm to her occurred before his death. After her parents divorced when she was 7, her dad had intermittently been in and out of her life. He had some addiction issues, so even when she spent weekends with him, he was often numbed out and not present. She learned to take care of herself and him in those times, and it forced her to … [Read more...]

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...]

Every Girl Is Meant to Shine

The nail that stands up gets hammered down. Unknown The most common reason girls don’t speak their minds, handle conflicts directly, and ask for what they want is their fear of making other people mad and losing friendships. And because of the way society is wired today, there is a lot of validity for these worries. If a girl decides she is going to be honest and speak her mind, especially if … [Read more...]

The Value of Fairy Tales

As I read the recent stories about women who are trying to manage both a top-level career and their home-life, I am reminded of the lessons contained in many of the traditional fairy tales like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. I'm not talking about the Disney versions; I'm referring to the original versions written as folk tales by authors like the Grimm Brothers and Charles Perrault back in the … [Read more...]