STAY STRONG THROUGH GIRLS ON THE RUN

by Dee Delacher

tween-girls-self-esteemHey, Girl Moguls!  Have you ever done something that you really didn’t want to do just because your friends wanted you to?  I sure have.  In fact, I want to share a story with you from when I was eight years old:

My face was getting hotter by the minute.  My friends were totally staring at me.  They expected me to lie so that the girls’ team would win the math competition in class.

My teacher was staring at me too.  He was waiting for me to report my score.

And inside I was battling between doing what was right or making my friends happy.  I opened my mouth and out came a score of 85%, a score slightly higher than the 80% that was screaming back at me.

As my teacher declared the girls the winner, I was mobbed with high-fives and hugs.  Meanwhile, the boys, particularly the one who had corrected my paper, shouted out in opposition.

“She cheated!” I heard them accuse.

My face turned a crimson shade of red as I slid further down in my seat.  My one second of glory in the eyes of my friends had turned into disappointment in the eyes of my teacher, and would soon turn into a harsh punishment from my parents.

I was only in third grade and I was already choosing paths that were going against what my parents had taught me.  I questioned who my friends really were and why lying made them like me more.  How could I stay true to myself and still surround myself with the friends that I so wanted?

That is where this cool program called Girls on the Run comes in.  It is a program for girls eight to thirteen and it was started by a woman who struggled with her changing body and these same dilemmas that she calls “Girl-Box” issues.

We have all dealt with them; whether it be starving ourselves to be “skinny” in the eyes of our peers, trying something because our friends want us to, or even telling a little white lie to our parents in order to do something we know is wrong.  Anytime we do things that we don’t want to do in order to please others, we are stepping into the “Girl-Box” and we lose a piece of our own identity.

Molly Barker, the founder of Girls on the Run, was losing pieces of herself and started running in order to deal with the stresses of being a teenage girl.  Running made her feel beautiful and powerful and allowed her to shatter that box that surrounded her.  She decided that she was going to start a program that would help create a world where girls would never have to climb out of the box and could live peacefully and happily simply being themselves.

Wouldn’t it be fun to get together with a bunch of girls who are all looking for a way out of the box, or better yet, a way to stay out of the box completely?  Girls on the Run is that place.

It is a 12-week program that combines training for a 5k run with self-esteem building lessons.  Each week you will meet with your volunteer coaches and team and will complete various activities that correspond to weekly topics and goals.  There is even a question and answer time where you can get some answers and tips that could help you with problems you are having in school or at home.

Most girls finish the program with the tools to help them stay out of the box by giving them a stronger sense of identity, a greater acceptance of themselves, a healthier body image, and a greater understanding of what it means to be part of a team.

Girls on the Run programs start up in the spring and you can find one in most states.  Just go to www.girlsontherun.org to see if there is a program near you.  If not, ask your parent, teacher, or mentor to start one up at your school.  So go find a program and lace-up, so you, too, can stay out of the box!

 

Dee Delacher is a writer and mother who is passionate about Girls on the Run – and igniting some girl power.

KaBoom! Playgrounds for Everyone

Hey GirlMoguls, it’s Lily here and we just wanted to give a shout out to a great cause and spread the word about the KaBoom Movement – and nope it has nothing to do with fireworks.  It’s a movement to make sure that kids have access to safe playgrounds – for unstructured, outdoor play.

Now, you might think you’re too old for a playground – but remember how good it used to feel – the ability to run free, swing like crazy and be a loud as you want?  Well, more and more kids today don’t have access to that kind of “unstructured” play – which means that they have to sit inside and watch tv, or if they’re lucky, run around inside all day.

But KaBoom is a movement that works to make safe playgrounds in every neighborhood – whether it’s putting in a a new or fixing up an old one.  They also keep a searchable list of local parks and playgrounds.

Do you know why outdoor play is so good for kids of all ages?  Here are just a few reasons:

  • Kids who play are healthier. Kids who play are less likely to be obese and develop obesity-related health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
  • Kids who play do better in school. Kids who play develop the cognitive skills that are positively linked to learning and academic performance.
  • Kids who play, play well as adults. Kids who play build their confidence and learn the social skills that help them become happy, well-adjusted adults.

So even though your playground days may be behind you (but c’mon, we dare to see how good getting on the swing feels), you can help other kids by supporting local playgrounds.  Here’s what you can do:

– If you want and with your parent’s permission, you can sign the Kaboom at their website, and help map your local playgrounds: http://kaboom.org/pledge/moms

– Check out the Kaboom site for ways to take action – like writing a letter to the paper, throw a play party, or or organizing a clean up day – Check out all the ideas here: http://kaboom.org/take_action

– Join in PlayDay 2011 – perhaps organize a group of younger siblings or neighboorhood kids to get in on the play – Find out more here: http://kaboom.org/take_action

 

As you know, as GirlMoguls we believe helping out the community is a top priority – (hey you can read all about how we did it our town of Weston here: http://girlmogul.com/Saving-Hannah/) and we think making playgrounds safe, cool and available is a great project for GirlMogul.  Be sure to tell us about your favorite playground  fun in the comments below!

 

Building Self-Esteem in Children

Like any mom, you only want the best for your child.   By building self-esteem in your children.  Sometimes this is easier said than done.  The following tips will help you develop self-esteem in children, so they can have a rich and fulfilling life.

Tip 1:  Be Confident Yourself. Show your children you are a confident person in a variety of situations.     Show your tweens that it’s important to try new things, even if you don’t always succeed.  When they see you being confident in your abilities, no matter the outcome, that postitive attitude will boost their self-esteem.

Tip 2: Develop Your Child’s Sense  Responsibility – Another good way to build self-esteem in children is to give them some age-appropriate tasks they are responsible for on a regular basis.  Create routines in which they are regularly asked to perform these tasks. By asking your children to perform chores , they will recognize and appreciate your confidence in their growing abilities and your trust in them will build their esteem.

Tip 3: Spread the Praise Around- Tweens need as much praise as younger children.  However you need to be more selective in how you do it.  Praising every little thing your child does can give them the feeling they can do no wrong.    Instead, praise their passing skills or another specific aspect of their performance.  This way they can take pride in their own achievements and realize that doing their best is more important than just winning or losing.   This will allow them to better handle the inevitable disappointments  that are a natural part of life.

Tip 4: Listen Up – Listen to your children.  This is especially important as your children become tweens.  By listening you show your children that what they have to say matters and is important.   You may have to listen to a lot of  chatter before they really start opening, but it will be worth it.  Eventually they will learn its ok to express their emotions, frustrations and fears to you.  Support them, empathize, but also don’t be afraid to correct them when they’re wrong.

These suggestions for building self-esteem in children will be the starting point of a whole new relationship with your tween.

Ultimate Tween Birthday Parties

Tween Birthday Parties
Tween Birthday Parties

Everyone loves a party especially tween girls, but planning a party for this age can be tricky. The following suggestions will show you how to plan an awesome birthday party for tweens and give you a guide of what to do and when to do them.

1. Two months prior– start discussing ideas with your tween – like will the party be at the house or outside.  How many friends will she be allowed to invite?  What type of theme is appropriate – is it a spa party, or a classic girls sleepover?

2. Three to four weeks before – Finalize your theme.  At  Based on the theme, your venue and budget, decide on a final guest list. and get invitations.    If you’re not inviting everyone in your daughter’s class, it’s best to mail out the invitations to the guests’ homes – this will spare any hurt feelings.

3. Three weeks before – Send out those invitations, and be sure to include an RSVP date and contact information.    Make sure you put down the start and end time of the party and any other additional information – like sleeping bags required if you’re having a sleepover.

You can start buying paper goods and the decorations now.

4. Two weeks before – This is when the RSVPs should be rolling in – keep track of everyone who’s responded and those that haven’t.  You might want to create a menu inspired by your theme. This is where you and your kids can get creative, researching recipes and finding ways to incorporate the theme into kid-friendly fare.   Start stockpiling non-perishable food items like drinks and chips.

Plan out any games or activities you’ll want to play.  You can use the internet to research party games and find out what supplies you need to have on hand.

5.  One week before – It’s almost show time for your tween’s birthday party. Now’s the time to order the cake from the bakery or finish up you’re the homemade version.   See if there are any other menu items you can prepare ahead and store in your freezer.

6.  Three days before – Get the rest of the food and beverages. Clean the house, if you’re having it at home, or confirm all the details with the venue.  Help your daughter pick out her outfit.

7. One Day Before – start decorating and checking all the last minute items off your list.

Day of – Enjoy! By following these simple guidelines you can create the ultimate tween birthday party, one that your daughter will remember for years to come.