You, sweet girl, YOU.

The car door slammed shut. Her head bowed. I turned the key, we started to make our way home. Tears began to tumble down gently off your cheek as you buckled the seatbelt — a pang of worry echoed in my belly. I said, “Honey, what’s going on?” But you couldn’t speak. Quietly, you sobbed beside me.  I held out my hand – you reached for it and held on tight.

When you cry, I feel your pain.
I know how hard you try.
You put on your brave, all the while your tender heart, fragile.
 
You’re a damn good friend. There isn’t a measuring stick in the universe that can describe how much I admire you for that.

When that new girl came to school, you invited her to sit with you at lunch among your friends because “there’s plenty of room for everyone at the table, mom.”  And that weekend, you asked her over to our house.
You told that other girl at recess “It’s not nice” on Amber’s behalf. You were so proud of yourself. You’re brave like that. 

You called Samantha up when she you learned her dog died even though calling someone up to talk on the phone isn’t your favorite thing to do.

“If there is way to help a friend, I'd do it,” you declared to me. “That's how much my friends mean to me.” Unabashedly, your actions speak stronger than your words.

You broke silence for others.
You took a brave stand against injustice.
You went the extra mile. 

You accept your friends for who they are.

You readily give away the bigger slice of cake.

You always find a way to make someone else feel special.

You don’t “claim” others – you introduce new friends to old and encourage everyone to hang out together.  
 
You strive to bring out the best in others.



And for this I admire you sweet girl, yes YOU.

Biggest Mom Hug & XXs,

You're Mama
 
Tweet + Facebook for all the girls you admire:

For all the sweet girls out there. I admire the brave things you do. via@GutsyGirlClub.

You sweet girl, YOU. @GutsyGirlClub so gets it. Brave girls are EVERYTHING.

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Do you know your WHY?

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German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, ‘He who has a why can endure any how.’

Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to raise a girl with confidence and know how to get through life's toughest challenges while walking the path that brings her the most joy. 

Indeed, only when you know your ‘why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to give her what she needs, stay focused when the going gets tough, and move your relationship into an entirely new, more fulfilling, more connected, and more rewarding trajectory.
 

Certainly this has been my experience in leading the Gutsy Girl Club, which now reaches women and girls across the nation and overseas.  My passion for bringing empowerment to more women and girls has been the driving force for me over the last 23 years.”

It started when I took my first women's study course in college, has been at the core of how I raise my two girls, and it is central to the inner workings of the Gutsy Girl Club organization.  
 

While there’s no one pathway for raising self-confident girls, there are many ways you can gain deeper insight into yourself, and your larger perspective on what it is that you desire for the girls in your world.

So tell me, what's your WHY? Why are you here? Why are you a part of the Gutsy Girl Club? What are you desiring?

Email me at heather@gutsygirlclub.com and let me know. I promise to respond to you.

XO,

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Happy International #DayoftheGirl!

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Happy International #dayofthegirl!

There are so many amazing ways to describe girls. What 3 words would you use to describe the gutsy girls in your life? Let's have some fun! Comment below. Or visit our Facebook or Instagram Page using #dayofthegutsygirl!

p.s. Want to share a pic of you and your girls? That'd be cool, too!

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How to support a girl as she faces world tragedies

How do I talk with my girl about …..[insert latest natural disaster, tragedy, or act of violence]?

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These days, we can’t turn around without another huge environmental disaster like a hurricane or earthquake happening or a violent crime like a mass shooting smacking us in the face.  It’s hard enough to comprehend and process these events as adults. For girls, it’s even more difficult. 

There’s no one way to address tragedies with children, and how parents approach it depends both on the child’s age and temperament. The American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend avoiding the topic with children until they reach a certain age – around 8, but again, it depends on the child. Before the age of 8, unless it directly affects your family, young girls do not need to hear about such events because children struggle to process it.

But it is recommended that parents should talk to their younger children about such events if they are at risk of hearing it from others.

Another expert in the field is Amy Morin. Amy, a licensed clinical social worker, college psychology instructor, and psychotherapist came up with a list of tips in her Psychology Today post, Talking with kids about the Las Vegas Shooting. It’s a list that every parent of young girls should refer to and applies to whether your girl is facing a natural disaster, tragedy or act of violence.   

1. Understand that your response will shape your child’s core beliefs.

The conversations you have with your kids—as well as the conversations you avoid—will impact their core beliefs about themselves, other people, and the world in general.

For example, will your child decide the world is a terrifying place filled with bad people who want to hurt her? Or will she grow to believe that there are a few bad people out there, but for the most part, there are good people who are working hard to keep her safe?

2. Don't allow young children to watch the news.

Watching news footage can be very disturbing to young children so it’s important to keep it off when they’re around. If a story comes on while your child is in the room calmly say, “I don’t think this is something we should watch right now,” and turn the station. If you panic, you may increase your child’s anxiety.

3. Keep your message simple.

Say something like, "A bad person decided to hurt other people." For young children, this may be all the information they need. Older children are likely to ask more questions. It’s OK to say you don’t know all the answers.

4. Focus on the steps that are being taken to keep people safe.

Talk about how police officers, government officials, and other first responders are helping. Spend more time talking about the good work people are doing, rather than the horrific event. This can help reduce your child's anxiety about safety.

5. Point out the good things everyday citizens are doing.

Talk about how nice people are helping families who had a loved one who got hurt. Look for specific ways people are pitching in to help one another. This can show your child that the majority of people want to treat others with kindness and not hurt them.

6. Empower your kids to become helpers.

Discuss how they can take positive action in the wake of a tragic event. Writing a thank you note to a police officer or donating allowance money can go a long way toward helping kids see that they can always take steps to make the world a little better. Kids who feel like they have a little bit of control are less likely to feel helpless in the wake of a tragic event.

7. Use caution when sharing your suspicions of political or religious motives.

Even if you suspect religious or political motives, don't share those thoughts with young children. Invite teenagers to express ideas about why someone may harm others. Be willing to share your thoughts but be aware of the lasting impression you might give. You don't want to add to stereotypes your teen may already have.

8. Choose any words about mental illness carefully.

If you say the shooter likely had a mental illness, be careful to point out that the vast majority of people with mental illnesses don't commit violent crimes. You don't want to teach your kids that people with a mental health problem are bad or should be feared.

9. Hold follow-up conversations.

Your child may need time to process the information. He may come to you several days later with follow-up questions, or you might notice he acts out more shooting scenes in his play. Turn those things into teachable moments and opportunities to talk more about the tragedy.

10. Send a healthy message to your child.

No matter how many conversations you hold or how much you decide to share, keep the message the same, bad things happen but there are good people out there helping and we’re strong enough to get through it.

Sending your child that message fosters resilience and teaches your kids they’re able to cope with whatever bad things come their way in life.

So, if you want to help your daughter as she faces some of life’s biggest tragedies, take a piece of advice from Amy and most importantly keep her strong.

Of course, I’d love to know what you thought about today’s post. Leave a comment below!  

 

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