3/31 :: Attend Her Functions

functioneven if it’s not your thing, even if it’s inconvenient and difficult to schedule, attend her activities as often as you can. i know it’s difficult with all you have to do, and especially with multiple children or with a busy, working spouse, but attending her activities nurtures her self-esteem. it tells her you care enough to make those sacrifices to be there for her. try to alternate with your spouse if you can. having her father present is just as important. in an article addressing dads, lela davidson wrote,

Attending your daughter’s school functions, sporting events, and social activities will make her feel loved. It can help maintain good grades and increase her enjoyment of school. Although she may ignore you at the time, she’s secretly proud to see you watching her.

if it’s still impossible to attend, there are a few things you can do that will still send a message that you wish you were.

|| o n e ||  text her beforehand and express your regret again about not being able to make it. wish her good luck.

|| t w o ||  ask someone to take pictures of her at the event and forward to you. especially if it is a one-time event, ask someone to video record  it for  you, then ask her to sit with you while you watch it so she can tell you about her experience of it.

|| t h r e e ||  if it is a one-time event, like a performance in a concert or play, or a significant birthday, presentation of award, etc, take her shopping to buy a special outfit, shoes, makeup for the event. or take her to have her hair styled or nails done at a time when you can sit there with her and visit.

|| f o u r ||  take her out after the event for dinner or ice cream to celebrate if it’s a one-time event. if it’s an ongoing activity, like a sport, take her out to celebrate a victory. ask her how she did, what suggestions her coach made, if she was successful at something she’s been working on, etc.

|| f i v e ||  make a scrapbook or photo album to commemorate the event or season. display it openly, where guests will see it and perhaps comment on it. or give it to her as a gift {and then ask her if you can keep it on the coffee-table or other highly visible place}.

 

i have three, very active children, and one busy spouse. attending ALL of their functions ALL of the time was impossible. when we could, we’d attend as a family, bringing both parents and siblings to the event.  but usually, we tag-teamed, with my husband going to one event and me to another. when you do this, though, it’s important to switch with your spouse so that you both get to go to each child’s function at least occasionally.

have you ever found yourself struggling to attend your daughter’s function? what creative resolution did you find? 

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2/31 Days :: Pinterest

what, pray tell, could pinterest possibly have to do with connecting with my daughter?

 

my fifteen year old daughter decided that she needed to go to fashion week in NYC this fall. i believe she understood how outrageous this idea was… but i told her that if she really REALLY wanted to go, she needed to plan it… see how much travel would cost, hotel… find out the dates, and locations, and were there any closer to us… etc. basically, was this idea even feasible.

so she did what any reasonably intelligent woman would do… she got on pinterest. :)  and then shortly thereafter,

i received an invitation to a private board.

 

sounds swanky, doesn’t it? now, i’m not a fashionista, by any stretch. i don’t spend time on fashion blogs, or perusing fashion magazines… i don’t even look through the catalogs we get in the mail anymore. but her invitation intrigued me. so i joined. she had set up a private “fashion week” board for herself, her girlfriend, and me. her old mom. i can’t even tell you how endearing this was to me… that she would even think about including me, so i started watching the board… noticing what she and her friend were pinning. and then i started pinning. and sending her pins of outfits i that made me think about her… outfits i thought she would like.

Fashion Week

Fashion Week / by Lexi Christopher

58 Pins

it was fun, so fun. eventually, i started playing with my wardrobe… when i get dressed, if i’m particularly proud, i send her a selfie.. to which she usually responds with a compliment, or a suggestion {which i gladly accept}.

this {maybe silly} little thing has actually helped us to connect. it’s given us something to share… on the way to school, we’ll chat about something one of us pinned, or ideas for outfits to make given the clothes we already have, or even current crushy items we’d love to have.

and to be real, it’s not about pinterest.

it’s about finding some common interest to share.

 

it’s just that pinterest is easy, convenient and free. :) and fun… truly. maybe your daughter isn’t into fashion… what about creating a private art board? a crafting board, particular to a craft she enjoys- and then do those crafts… a travel board, and fill it with exotic, money is no concern, places you dream of visiting…. a fuzzy pet board, and pin adorable pictures of sweet animals… the ideas are limitless. {in fact, let us know if you try it in the comments below and share your idea with all of us.}

of course, you know that you can also use pinterest to find activities to do with your daughter. you can search for specific crafts, activities, or even articles that talk about activities to share with your daughter, or even ways to connect with your daughter. we also have several boards we hope you find useful.

 

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31 Days :: Connect

connectpic

 

one thing that we did right in parenting was to seek out the parents of children we liked :) …children who were just a step ahead of ours. we leaned on these parents, asking advise, watched the way they disciplined, the way they interacted. as my children were transitioning from a small private middle school to a large public high school, i asked one such mom, how do you stay connected? how do you keep them talking to you? 

she said,

talk right on through that distant-teenager phase. ask questions. ask open-ended questions. and do it when they are trapped-when they can’t walk away from you, like when you are in the car together.

and so i did.

i asked all sorts of questions. and when they started to show signs of that distant-teenager, i kept on asking. i asked good questions, like how was school today? but wasn’t afraid to regress to down-right silly questions, like who did you sit by at lunch? what did suzy eat? my friend has instructed me that content at that point wasn’t so important.

what was important was keeping the channels of communication open, in any way i could.

recently, my son and i were chatting. actually, he was ribbing me about talking to them all the time, asking those questions after school. and when i asked, do you really think that i cared who you sat by at lunch or what they ate? {clearly, i used this fall-back question a lot :)} he looked shocked. and when i confessed, i did that just to keep us talking to each other when i knew that was the last thing you wanted to do. his expression was priceless.

and then he smiled.

we are close, my family. my children text me randomly, and offer hugs without me making funny faces or begging. my boys will meet me for lunch when i am in their college town {that might have to do more with getting a better meal than sharing time with mom} {just kidding} {well, maybe halvesies} my daughter, the last one still in my nest, shares openly with me. i feel like she talks to me like she talks to her friends. and i love that. but it didn’t just happen. it was a direct consequence of our working to stay connected to them.

so these 31 days in october are actually directed at you, parents of girls, to share with you ways to stay connected with her. {and as always, you know these ideas will work just as well with your sons, and some even with your spouses, as they will with your daughters.} posts will usually be quick and to the point, but we will sometimes offer recipes, tutorials, stories. and we encourage you to share with us here in the comment section, or on our facebook page. look for links to previous posts in this series at the bottom of each post.

 

 

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you can read last year’s 31 day series Thrive, here.

31 days thrive

you can read my 2011 31 day series, 31 Days To Nurture Her Self-Esteem, here.

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No parent wants to believe it, so it may be really, really hard to see, but its importance cannot be overstated. Determining if your child is a bully is the first step in preventing her bullying, which not only protects her future victims, but also eliminates the negative consequences her bullying will have on her own life.

Bullying is a learned behavior. As a bully bullies, she gets something out of it… a sense of power, control, dominance. And each successful bully experience reinforces that behavior, so the idea that a bully will “outgrow” bullying is ludicrous. In fact, because the act of bullying reinforces itself, the behavior becomes stronger as the person gets older and often leads to hazing, sexual harassment, aggression and cyberbullying. Research shows that bullies harbor an excess of anger, are opinionated and judgmental, and are at greater risk of suicide. Children who develop a pattern of aggression often perpetuate family violence as adults, and their bullying eventually surfaces in dating, family and workplace relationships. In fact, bullying has been considered a “gateway” to criminal behavior, as many child bullies end up in the juvenile justice system or jail.

The first step in preventing your child from bullying is recognizing that he or she may be a bully.

Seeing your child’s behavior as bullying is difficult. It’s a hard idea to swallow in the first place, but also… Child bullies are often charming towards adults. They often display behavior that adults see as confidence, humor, intelligence. It’s especially easy to excuse bullying behavior as leadership when children are young {watch for subsequent article in this mini series, “The Difference Between a Bully and a Leader”}.

Watch how your child treats others.

Monitor your child’s social media and email accounts.

Notice how other children behave around your child. Do they avoid her?

Does she demonstrate empathy towards other, or does she seem to enjoy when others are hurt?

 

7signsbully

The following are  seven behaviors that may indicate your child is a bully.

She Is Aggressive

Dominance and power are the driving forces of a bully’s behavior. Aggressive or violent behavior is how she achieves dominance and power. Also, does she enjoy teasing others? And does she pick on siblings?

She Blames Others

Does she blame others for her problems and not take responsibility for her own actions?

She Gets Easily Frustrated

Does she have a hard time losing, and does she become easily frustrated when not winning during games?

She Is Overly Competitive

Does she resort to emotional, verbal and physical attacks- a win at all cost attitude – in order to win?

She Is Exclusive With Her Friendship

And is obsessed with social status and popularity. Does she refuse to play or hang out with some kids, calling them “losers” or other derogatory names?  She is demonstrating that her own popularity is her priority.

Her Friends Are Mean

or not nice. Kids often become friends with bullies to maintain their popularity and to avoid being bullied themselves. We tend to take on traits of those we spend time with, so be aware of who your child spends her time.

She Gets In Trouble At School

Often times, bullies get in trouble at school for fighting and acting out in class.

 

If after observing your child’s behavior and giving thoughtful consideration, you are suspicious {but not sure} that your child is a bully, find a teacher that you trust and schedule an appointment with her to discuss your child’s behavior. She might be able to offer insight about your child and her behavior at school or when not under your watchful eye. She might also be able to make suggestions or give you references for help for your child in your community.

 

Stand up to bullying

{image courtesy: jssnpcc cssp}

Please join Pearls for Girls for this summer mini series, No Bullies Here. The first post in this series can be found by clicking on the link:

What Is Bullying, and Why Do Bullies Bully?

In our next post we will describe the difference between a leader and a bully. You can read previous posts on bullying from our Thrive series by clicking on the links:

No Bullies Here 

 What’s Really Going On With Our Girls

Girls Don’t Bully… Do They?

Cyberbullying

Cliques

Dear Parents

Bullying and The Witness

It Gets Better

You can also read other posts on bullying, which gave rise to Pearls For Girls, on Finding Serendipity.

Self Esteem and Bullying

Alye

Self-Esteem and The Bullied

Self-Esteem and The Bully

Self-Esteem and The Witness

How Girls Bully and Suggestions to Stop It

 

www.parentmap.com

www.healthyliving.msn.com

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#LikeAGirl

perfect.

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bully

bul·ly1

ˈbo͝olē/
verb
gerund or present participle: bullying
  1. use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
    “a local man was bullied into helping them”
    synonyms: persecute, oppress, tyrannize, browbeat, harass, torment, intimidate,strong-arm, dominate;

    {image by google}

    What Is Bullying?

Defining bullying is important because we have become desensitized by violence and bullying disguised as humor in media and news outlets. Some believe that bullying is a rite of passage, a normal developmental stage – both of which are untrue. Bullying in the workplace is sometimes hard to see because bullies of higher rank might just be seen as mean managers or bosses. But bullying is bullying, whether one is 11 or 43, male or female, dominant or subordinate, and should not be tolerated.

Bullying can be defined as an unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived imbalance of power¹. Others define it as a purposeful attempt to control another person² through unwanted verbal or physical abuse. It can be actions that occur repeatedly or just once¹·², and can occur in almost any setting including home, school and work. Bullying can include but is not limited to one or any combination of the following:

  • making threats
  • physical or verbal intimidation
  • exclusion
  • physical (hitting, punching, pushing or any unwanted touch) or verbal (criticizing, teasing, name-calling, mocking, insulting, demeaning) attacks
  • spreading lies or rumors
  • cyber bullying (unwanted sharing of pictures, posing as someone on social media, spreading rumors or lies, harassment)

The two common aspects included in most definitions of bullying are:

  • imbalance of power
  • intent to cause harm

and to a lesser extent

  • repetition

 

A bully can be:

  • a classmate
  • a workmate (a colleague, manager or boss)
  • a parent or sibling
  • a neighbor or stranger

 

A bully might demonstrate the following behaviors³:

  • aggression, nastiness, spitefulness and combativeness
  • impulsiveness, quick to anger
  • controlling and manipulative
  • defiance and pushiness
  • unfeeling towards victims

 

Why Do Bullies Bully?

There are several different reasons why a bully bullies, but usually when someone bullies, he or she is seeking power {and domination}, or the demonstration of power. Many times a bully was either bullied himself, or has experienced failure in some other area of his or her life. Sometimes, people who have power want to show others that they have it, or they don’t possess leadership skills to use with their power {watch for our subsequent article, “The Difference Between Leaders and Bullies”}. And some bullies do so to keep from becoming bullied themselves. This type of bully is known as a Secondary Bully².

Regardless of why a bully bullies, the damaging and destructive results of his behaviors are the same.

 

Stand up to bullying

{image courtesy: jssnpcc cssp}

 

Please join Pearls for Girls for this summer mini series, No Bullies Here. In our next post we will describe the difference between a leader and a bully. You can read previous posts on bullying from our Thrive series by clicking on the links:

No Bullies Here 

 What’s Really Going On With Our Girls

Girls Don’t Bully… Do They?

Cyberbullying

Cliques

Dear Parents

Bullying and The Witness

It Gets Better

You can also read other posts on bullying, which gave rise to Pearls For Girls, on Finding Serendipity.

Self Esteem and Bullying

Alye

Self-Esteem and The Bullied

Self-Esteem and The Bully

Self-Esteem and The Witness

How Girls Bully and Suggestions to Stop It

 

 

1. www.stopbullying.gov
2. www.bullyingstatistics.org
3. www.pbs.org

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No Bullies Here Summer Mini-Series

goteamgirls

I was recently sitting with a small group of girls. When another girl came over and tried to join in, there was some taunting and general expression of discontent about her joining us. The little girl sat down, and after a few moments, I noticed her sitting hunched over, turning into herself, tears rolling her cheeks.

I thought {only for a moment} ::

This isn’t my place – it’s not my right to say anything about this.

My second thought was

If I don’t, who will?

And

Can I really let this opportunity to have an impact on a whole group of girls pass?

No. I absolutely cannot. 

It’s been said that it takes a village and I’m here to tell you that it really does. I told the girls that I needed to interrupt. I told them that what I had to say had nothing to do with what they were doing there, but it needed to be said. Plus, I told them, this issue is really big with me.

I told them they will have enough meanness in their lifetimes from outside sources, from other people, from their workplaces and unfortunately at school, that they do not have to be mean to each other. They need to look out for each other. They need to support each other. Even if they don’t know someone new to their group, or for whatever reason, don’t feel drawn to be friends with them, they don’t need to be unwelcoming, and they certainly don’t need to make negative comments to or about them. I told them to be kind, to be welcoming, or at the very least, just be quiet. I told them they are on Team Girls. To support each other just because they are girls. And although I really hope not, someday, they might need some girls to be supportive of them.

Go, Team Girls.

***

no bullies here

We’ve talked about bullying here before, and you can find a plethora of information on the internet. This is an injustice that just about every single person has experienced or witnessed, so it really can’t be addressed enough. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be hosting a summer mini-series to continue our discussion from October 2013 called,

No Bullies Here.

The following posts will be added to the series:

  • What Is Bullying and Why Bullies Do It
  • The Difference Between a Bully and a Leader
  • How To Parent A Bully
  • When A Bully Grows Up :: Adult Bullies
  • How To Stand Up To An Adult Bully

We hope you will join us and become a part of the solution.

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maya

Maya Angelou died today at the age of eighty-six.  She had many titles, but maybe what she did best was making people feel good.  A master poet, author, educator,  actress, activist, and humanitarian, she had much to say on the subject of girls -and women- feeling good about themselves.  I could only wish to live as she lived and leave behind the legacy she has now left.

One thing she said was, “People will often forget what you said or what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”  That profound statement causes me to pause and ask myself how am I doing at this?  Do I draw people to me because of the way I make them feel?  I hope so.

In honor of the life she led, here is one of Maya Angelou’s great poems that I believe fits nicely with what we here at Pearls for Girls are trying to do – encourage. Read carefully between the lines here.  I think you’ll find that this “phenomenal woman” exudes confidence!

 

 

Phenomenal Woman

 

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

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Your Ultimate June Summer Fitness Plan

Your Ultimate June Summer Fitness Challenge

 Summer is here.  It’s time to bring out the swim suits and hit the lake!

Every girl wants to feel confident about herself and her body when it comes to summer.  What better way to achieve this goal than sticking to a workout to keep  in shape and stay healthy?  Obtaining a healthy body is easy when sticking to a plan. Lack of commitment is the biggest obstacle in reaching and maintaining a healthy body.

Kick start your fitness goals by following the plan below for the next few weeks.  Just remember to always focus on your goal and keep your eyes on the prize. Maintaining a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting the right amount of sleep are all important aspects in maintaining a healthy body.

If you’re thinking you can’t do this on your own, grab a buddy to workout with.  Your buddy can keep you in line, be a motivator, and make achieving your goals a lot easier.

And don’t stop after the month of June! Make up your own work-out calendar and challenges.

If you have trouble with commitment, print the calendar below and stick it on your refrigerator.  Every time you walk in the kitchen you’ll be reminded of your workout for the day.

Your Ultimate June Summer Fitness Challenge

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What To Do, What To Do

onlydowhatyourhearttellsyou

 

It’s that time of year that we have some decisions to make… how to spend our summer, what jobs we hope to work, what colleges to choose, {what majors to declare}… Even for those lucky enough, we need to decide how do we spend our leisure time.

We’ll have some ideas and suggestions here at Pearls for Girls over the next couple of weeks, but for now, we’d like you to sit with this thought.

Do Only What Your Heart Tells You

Princess Diana had it right… She knew that the world needs people who are passionate in what they do, whatEVER that might be… Because when you are passionate about what you do, you tend to do it really, really well.

So think about it.  Share with us in the comments or on Facebook what you decide, in case there are some of us out there who are indecisive. You might inspire someone.

And as for us?  So far?   :)

This summer, we will work side-by-side with a new intern, a graduate student in Public Health who is completing her practicum with us, as she tackles pediatric obesity in the underserved. We will also be conducting a Leadership Workshop and repeating our Confidence Workshops. And lastly, we will be planning a 5K run for the fall… If you live locally, we hope you will join us.

Enjoy your last days of school, bast in the joy of your accomplishments and know that we are proud of you.

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