September marks the season of back to school and back to work, with all the potential of a new class, new school, or new season ahead. For the thousands of families in our community, this is the time when “How was school today?” emerges as a nightly mantra, sometimes complete with the eye-roll reply. One of the reasons many girls struggle with this question is the pressure they feel to be happy and to please others. They’ve learned the “perfect daughter” is supposed to love school every day. This fall we encourage you to use this daily ritual as an opportunity to teach your girls that they have your permission to feel anything, even lonely or jealous of a classmate. Understanding that there are no unacceptable feelings gives girls permission to be more fully, authentically themselves and therefore know their real needs.
The most powerful way that you can give the girl in your life this permission is to share the full range of your own feelings, including the tough ones like sadness or the occasional hurt (when appropriate). One fun way to practice this emotional awareness might be to ask her if she were a weather report, dessert, or breakfast food, what would she be? Even older girls get into sharing the percentage chance of precipitation in their day. And your family might appreciate the heads-up that you are having a cold instant oatmeal kind of morning.
To learn more about tools to help your daughter through these critical years, I hope you’ll join one of our programs. I’d love to see you in person at one of our upcoming parent education presentations in Aspen, Denver, Northern New Jersey, New York City and finally back home in the East Bay (registration coming soon). Can’t attend a program or a talk? Join our conversations on Facebook or our blog. I hope the Halloween blog below will help you and your family navigate the spooky season ahead.
All my best,
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Five Questions to Help with the Halloween Costume Shopping Challenge
Last Sunday I came across the Halloween costume display at Target, which filled me with horror (and not the good kind). Down the aisle were package after package of costume “options” for girls – princesses and fairies mostly, each advertised with photos of young models with big heads and tiny bodies, twisted in curtsying and flirting poses. Little girls in the store were parsing the selection, studying the images before them, dreaming of the ways their classmates might see them for a day: skinny, sassy, beautiful, charming, and sexy. Click here to read the full article!
Girl Meets World in Boston, MA – April 7-9, 2014 Registration for our spring Girl Meets World Professional Development Training
(GMW) is now open! Taught by GLI co-founder and bestselling author Rachel Simmons (Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence), the GMW program trains participants to deliver high-quality social-emotional education for girls.
You’ll connect with colleagues from all over the world, receive individualized coaching from Rachel Simmons and GLI co-founder Simone Marean, and expand your repertoire of lesson plans, games, and icebreakers for girls.
When: April 7-9, 2014
Where: Simmons College, Boston, MA
Who Should Come: Educators, administrators, clinicians, coaches, graduate students, youth volunteers, and other youth professionals
Click here for the program schedule and to apply now!
September’s Girl Find: Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls
We all know and love Amy Poehler for her hilarious antics on hit television shows and movies. After stumbling upon the “Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls” YouTube channel, we can’t help but love Amy a little more. The “Ask Amy” feature, in which Amy doles out humorous yet heartfelt advice on topics ranging from loving others and loving yourself to dealing with emotions and learning to apologize, is especially fantastic. Amy’s advice often identifies self-confidence as the key to success: “You become more attractive when you love yourself. You attract the right things when you have a sense of who you are.” With twenty-eight “Ask Amy” videos and dozens of other videos featuring strong, smart girls, this channel is definitely the place to go when you want a dose of inspiration!