Today’s post is from a recent issue of Parenting Teens magazine
As a counselor to girls for over two decades, I’ve seen a lot of things change. Lately, it’s been empowerment. On a macro level, I’ve never seen so many girls who are as inspired by social justice—who long to change things and make a difference in human trafficking, poverty, injustice, and many other profoundly important issues.
But, on a micro level—inside themselves—I’ve never seen so many girls who feel the opposite of empowered. They feel paralyzed, powerless, hopeless.
Both ads are grounded in research and speak to what I hear from girls daily in my offices. Girls shrink back. They over-apologize. They worry they’re not enough. I wish every preteen and teenage girl could watch these videos and then have a discussion with an adult they trust.
Some questions could include:
- Have you noticed a shift in your confidence as you’ve grown up?
- How would you have described yourself at 8? What about 14?
- What do you think caused the difference?
- How do you want to feel about yourself?
- Do you believe other girls feel the same? Why or why not?
- How do these ads make you feel?
- What do you want “like a girl” to mean?
- Have you ever noticed times you shrink back or over-apologize? Why do you think that happens? What do you want to do differently?
If you have a son, you could watch the videos and ask him some of the same questions from a boy’s perspective.
Psalm 144:12 says, “Then our sons will be like plants nurtured in their youth, our daughters, like corner pillars that are carved in the palace style.”
Who are some women your teen can look to when she needs that reminder?
Sissy Goff, M.Ed., LPC-MHSP has been counseling girls and their families since 1993, with the help of her counseling assistant, Lucy the Havanese. She’s the Director of Child and Adolescent Counseling at Daystar Counseling Ministries in Nashville, Tenn. A sought-after speaker for parenting events, she is also the author of eight books, including her newest, Are My Kids on Track?, as well as Raising Worry-Free Girls (releasing September 3). Follow her blog at raisingboysandgirls.com.