Raising girl’s self-esteem and grit: Un-Words critical for girls to embrace

There are some crucial qualities girls need to develop self-esteem and grit. I described four of these in a previous blog, and today I am adding four more “un-words” to the list. Unaffected: The happiest girls I know are the ones who don’t care what other people think about them. They don’t give their power away by allowing disrespectful words or gossip to hurt their feelings, and they make … [Read more...]

“Un-Words” girls desperately need to gain self-esteem and happiness

I have come across a slew of “UN-Words” that describe some essential qualities all girls require for a healthy transformation from a girl to a woman. These virtues are also needed for gaining self-esteem, passion, and happiness. Unreachable: Girls need to have times in each day when they are unplugged from technology, where their friends can't get a hold of them. Why? So they have time to … [Read more...]

Best way for kids to overcome their fears? Go for the roar!

Learning to deal with fear is one of the most important lessons kids can take with them when they leave the nest. I find that most kids I work with haven’t been given solid tools to push through fears, making them less likely to take risks and initiate new ventures. We need to correct this if we want young people to be bold, creative, and entrepreneurial. 20 years from now you will be more … [Read more...]

It’s time to eliminate the golden rule

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I remember having this proverb pounded into my head at home and at school throughout my formative years, but as an adult have found it to be inaccurate and limiting. What we each like when it comes to love and support is distinctive, and it’s dependent on our personality, our needs, past experiences, and context. For example, early on in … [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...]


I was struck with something the actress Leslie Mann said in an interview in the December 21, 2013 issue of Entertainment Weekly. Here is a quote from the article: "When I was little, my family said, 'you know, when kids aren't attractive, sometimes they grow up to be attractive, she says.' But I don't see myself as pretty. My face is weird and long. I do weird things with my mouth and I have a … [Read more...]