Raising A Girl Made Easy - Gutsy Girl Club

Happy International #DayoftheGirl!

by Heather Freeman, click here to get all our posts.

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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

by Heather Freeman, click here to get all our posts.

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!  

 

GRAB YOUR FREE COPY OF THE CONFIDENT GIRL GUIDE ROADMAP

If you want to learn more about how to grow a girl's confidence like a mama boss, download your FREE copy of the Confident Girl Guide Roadmap.

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Aaand, remember to sign up for my FREE Facebook group.

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and other online mama bosses, make sure to click here to join my FREE private Facebook group.

 

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I wonder if my daughter is really happy

by Heather Freeman, click here to get all our posts.

“I wonder if my daughter is really happy?  I think she is anxious and stressed, but she just won't say what's bothering her. I don't know if it's school or friends or what."  

Being a young girl is tougher than ever! Times have changed, and girls today face unique challenges that are very different in nature and scope from when you and I were young.

We want to know how her day went, but we also don’t want to be perceived as being intrusive. 

You’re not alone.  Many moms have expressed that it would bring them peace of mind if they could connect with their daughter and offer her support even when she is gaining greater independence and control in her life.

So, how does one go about getting a girl to open up and share?

It all hinges on keeping the lines of communication open.  And it works both ways. It’s easy for parents to want to jump in and fix a problem, but it’s important to give girls as much air time to vent and share as it is for parents to provide feedback and support. 

Open up the lines of communication.

Opening up lines of communication and keeping those lines open begins with how we approach a conversation.  Don’t start an interrogation as soon as you arrive for pickup or the moment you all walk in the front door. After being ‘on’ all day at school, some girls need a break.  Asking 20 questions as soon as you pick up your girl could mean instant shut down. 

Instead, spend a few minutes reconnecting with your girl by simply being present. Let her know, “Hey I missed you. I’m happy to see you.” This sends your girl the message, "hey my mom cares about me."  Then she'll begin to relax and most likely open up with you.    

Sometimes, between all the shuffling to and from school and activities, it's dinner time before you're back at home. And by then it’s hard to find the time to connect.  This is when it helps to work some parent-girl time into you day, like right after the dinner table is cleared or 5 minutes before tuck in time to bed.  Carving out even a few minutes with your girl can create the space for your girl to open up with you.  

Listen more than you talk.

Once she opens up with you it becomes all about keeping the conversation flowing. Key to keeping her talking is listening to her.  The best time to practice listening is when there isn’t a problem in your girl’s life. Keep in mind that if you ignore or brush off your daughter when she’s rattling on about the latest movie she’s watched or the silly joke her friend said at school that day, you’re missing an opportunity to show her you are a good listener. When you’re really connecting, your body language says “I’m listening and you have my full attention.” Eyes and ears are on your daughter and your iphone is down. You’ll find that if you do a really good job in moments like these, she will come to you when life gets really hard.”

Give advice, only if she wants it.

One of the biggest mistakes we can make is giving unsolicited advice. I've done it myself and it doesn't work.  Communication specialists advise to not give advice unless it’s asked for.

It’s natural to want to fix a problem.  Your daughter comes home from school in tears that her best friend is ignoring her at lunch and you want to step in and call a meeting with the school principal and her parents.  While a situation might warrant that at some point, first talk with your girl and ask her, “how can I help you?” before taking action.  Invite her to process her experience by asking questions like, “How did that make you feel?” and validate her experience by saying things like, “That must have been so hard.” Follow up with "How do you want to handle this?" Then explore her potential solutions.  If she struggles to find an answer, ask her, "Would you like my advice?" 

Girls are learning to take on more of the responsibility for handling their daily life situations.  By being an active listener and refraining from giving advice unless asked for, you can help her learn this important skill. 

Every girl is different. Every conversation is different. If you are looking to improve your conversation with your daughter or the girls you work with – try these simple, but effective approaches to communication. 

 

Once you’ve had a chance to read this post, I’ve got a question for you today:
 

  • If the best way to keep the communication lines open with a girl is to listen, what’s one way you could be a better listener with her starting right now?   Share with me in the comments below!

 

Do you know someone who struggles to get their girl to talk? Share this article with them!

 

GRAB YOUR FREE COPY OF THE CONFIDENT GIRL GUIDE ROADMAP

If you want to learn more about how to grow a girl's confidence like a mama boss, download your FREE copy of the Confident Girl Guide Roadmap.

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Aaand, remember to sign up for my FREE Facebook group.

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and other online mama bosses, make sure to click here to join my FREE private Facebook group.

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What do you want to hear more about?

by Heather Freeman, click here to get all our posts.

Hit Send, tell me where she's struggling

For several weeks now, I’ve worried about this post.

The Gutsy Girl Club and our blog.... is reaching more people then ever. 

What is all the buzz about?

I had lots of ideas, but none of them seemed quite right, and a few days ago, I realized why:

This blog isn’t about me. It’s about you.

It’s about your struggle to be there for her.

It’s about your desire for your girl have the chance to shine brighter.

It’s about your questions and me doing everything I can to answer them.

And if I want to be true to my own strategy, then the only appropriate way to begin is by listening.

So, I want you to do two things:

  1. Share this post using the buttons below. As one of this blog’s first readers, I’m not just hoping you’ll tell your friends about it. I’m counting on it.
  2. Email me at heather@gutsygirlclub.com, tell me where your girl is struggling and how I can help

I’ll read the responses. I’ll think about them. I’ll plan the entire future of this blog around them.

Here’s why:

Over the coming months and years, I don’t just want to give you a few juicy tidbits of information about how to raise a confident girl. I don’t just want to entertain you with stories from my life. I don’t just want to persuade you to persevere.

All of those things are fine and dandy, but they’re not enough. My real goal is simple:

I want to turn your life upside down.

I want to meet you & your girl exactly where you are, right now, and give you the exact information you need to get her fully pumped up. The only metric I really and truly care about is your girl's success, because if I can help you, and we work together to spread the word, then I believe she'll have the wings to fly and make her mark on this world.

So, tell me where she is.

Tell me where you and your girl are struggling.

Tell me how I can help.

And then strap yourself in.

Because you and me, my friend?

We’re going places. Fast.


 
XO,

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