Sunday Snippet: Proofs Why Camp Is So Good
It is common and proven knowledge that many adolescent girls experience a confidence slide starting as early as age 8 and continuing through the middle school years. These proofs are varied as to the causes of this, but we feel it is far more important to focus on what can we do to help girls get through this gauntlet with their confidence and independent spirit intact and hopefully even stronger!
A recent article in The New York Times, reviews the book, The Confidence Code for Girls, by authors Claire Shipman, Katty Kay, and JillEllyn Riley. The authors explore adolescent girls’ confidence and offer ways to strengthen it. Here are some of the suggestions as offered through the New York Times article The Confidence Gap for Girls: 5 Tips for Parents of Tween and Teen Girls (The New York Times, Stephanie DeAngelis, October 1, 2018):
Trade her comfort zone for her danger zone
Comfort zones inhibit growth. That doesn’t mean she has to quit the soccer team because she’s already great at soccer. But you should encourage your daughter to move beyond what she does well and tackle something scary. Risk looks different to every girl — for your daughter it might be inviting a new friend over, or checking out the debate team, or getting to school on her own.
Take the fear out of failure
Failure will strike. It’s inevitable, especially when your child is taking risks. It’s also essential for her to learn to move through it, normalize it and rebound, to be ready for it the next time it happens.
Retrain her brain
Of course, at the center of the confidence changes in adolescence is what’s going on in girls’ brains. The largely female trait of rumination really kicks in at puberty, which can be brutal because girls don’t usually know what’s hijacked their heads and feelings, and overthinking creates even more risk avoidance. There’s tremendous evidence, however, that recognizing the way our brains are working is the most powerful move we can make toward retraining and rewiring.
Do it yourself
To make these tips really resonate with our daughters, parents must become role models for risk and failure. Talk about your nerves. Let your daughter know when you are worried about a new challenge, when there’s something you might want to try but it scares you. Even better, include her in your process and ask for her advice about it. Let her be the expert because she will internalize the advice she gives you
Embrace the bumps
This is a useful directive for parents more than for girls. If the school year seems rocky already, instead of resorting to panic or racing to fix things, remember that your daughter actually benefits from challenges. A bumpy path will build more confidence than a smooth one.
Camp WeHaKee is an exceptional experience that helps girls take healthy, growth inducing risks; experience failure in a nurturing and reinforcing environment; meet and work with remarkable role models who have similar experiences and have thrived none the less; try things for themselves to discover their talents, gifts, and interests; provides challenges that help girls gain even more confidence and independence.
Thanks for joining us and enjoy your week!