"Good Girl"

How To End a Friendship And Preserve Boundaries

I certainly don’t mean to condone walking away from a friendship whenever anything gets hard. In fact, girls frequently tend to avoid difficult conversations, and I am a big advocate of having a well-planned-out, face-to-face conversation as a way to get to the bottom of the conflict which, ironically, ends up strengthening the relationship. 

However, in my experience girls (especially young girls) don’t intuitively recognize that A) there is a spectrum of friendships, B) friendships are rarely static and C) not everyone is a friend. Ending friendships is brutal no matter if you are doing the breaking up or being broken up with. However, it is a necessary and normal part of life. But how do we do this correctly and with respect?

How To Help Your Daughter Take Back Control Of Her Social Media

The headlines on the dangers of social media over the last few months are enough to cause us parents to lose our minds.

To make matters worse, no one is talking us off the ledge. Instead, they are piling on. At after-school events to train parents on social media, police officers counsel parents and kids that if they post certain things they can go to jail or be registered as a sex offender. Lawyers explain that if you make one wrong move on social media, that post or picture can follow you for the rest of your life, hurting your chances of getting into a college or getting hired by your dream company.

Simply put, the advice to parents is control, limit, and stalk.

Before I build a moat around my daughter, I have one big question: Why isn’t anyone teaching me (and her) how to use social media as a tool for her power? Luckily, one expert has an easy exercise to help me do just that!

3 Guidelines For How To Be Truly Authentic

Parents and girls' leadership experts implore my daughter to stop playing it safe, and start getting ‘authentic.’ This is because study after study shows that girls are so worried about being judged, they’re not willing to be vulnerable, messy and real.

But my daughter was confused. How to be vulnerable and real? How to know when to do it?

Ironically, we run into problems when we are preoccupied with being “authentic.” When authenticity itself is a singular goal, it can cause us to filter less, overshare, and even manifests itself as a chip on a shoulder.

I try to explain to her the difference between “confident authenticity” and simply brazen oversharing.

9 Tools That Make You Confident in Conflict

My daughter was in dire need of some tools to help her with the difficult conversations she was having.

Conflict management is one of those traits that no one likes to tackle, let alone practice, but research shows girls, in particular, treat it like the plague. Dealing with conflict with confidence can put girls in a position where they might not be “nice” or even likable for a little while. So, instead, they avoid any semblance of conflict to maintain their “good girl” persona. That’s unfortunate because along with strategic thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving, the most successful leaders tend to show finely-honed communication skills. 

Turns out, I got a few tips to throw into my own tool-kit as well!

How to be Unafraid in Asking for What You Want

Wanting to be team captain was the perfect opportunity for my daughter to practice the right way to negotiate. Unfortunately, she didn’t think so... 

She believed, like many women, that if she just worked hard, she should be recognized for her talent. Three separate studies found that women are less likely than men to negotiate for what they want. Men place themselves in more negotiation situations and view more interactions as negotiating opportunities.  They get a lot more practice in the art of asking and, therefore, a lot more comfortable than women. 

My daughter learns that how you ask can reduce the stress of asking and can be much more effective.

How to be Popular AND Powerful

Alexa was back but this time my daughter was ready. As author Lisa Damour says, “As a culture, we do a terrible job of helping girls figure out when they are mad. As far as girls know, they can either be a total doormat (Cinderella) or flat out cruel (Cinderella’s step-sisters).  We rarely help girls master assertion, the art of standing up for one's self, while respecting the rights of others.  We send the message that good girls are nice all the time and then we are somehow surprised when girls act out in unacceptable ways.”

The Insidious Downside of Envy

My daughter is learning that envy is very different from jealousy, competition, and even admiration. Her friend isn't a friend, and she isn't jealous, she's resentful. Most would say it's just middle-school girl stuff. However, the research says that if my daughter doesn't learn to understand these differences it could cost her her confidence into adulthood.

An Easy Way Women Can Out-Negotiate the Men

When women advocate for others, we stay within our societal roles.  We are not seen as aggressive and when we champion others, the behavior is expected, applauded and rewarded - a lot.  When we tap into this magic elixir we win (for us and others) every time.  Is this a double standard?  Yes.  Does it work? Absolutely.