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GirlStrong

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

By Darcy McConnell, LPC, LADC

Have you heard about GirlStrong at Edmond Family Counseling? It is starting September 9th and is a popular program for girls ages 12-16. You may enroll by phone at 405-341-3554. Cost is $150 for the 6 week group. Below is one of the facilitators, Darcy McConnell, LPC, LADC perspective on the group and the need to be proactive raising daughters.

Summer is over and once again the kids are back in school. All of sudden schedules filled with athletics and other extracurricular obligations are the focus of the family. This is a cautionary time to check ourselves in order to ensure that we do not overlook the emotionally experiential side of our kids returning to the school environment. 

The mental picture that we all have of who we are, how we look, what we're good at, and what our weaknesses might be, is the most important and evolving perception during adolescence. As this picture develops, based on our experiences and interactions with others, it creates one’s self-image. This mental picture is the number one contributing factor into one’s self-esteem.

On the other hand, self-esteem is more about how much we feel valued, loved, accepted, and thought positively about by others. This factors into how much we value, love, and accept ourselves. Kids who possess healthy self-esteem are able to feel good about themselves, appreciate their own worth, and take pride in their abilities, skills, and accomplishments. Kids with low self-esteem are more likely to feel as if no one will like them, accept them, or that they will not do well in anything.

We can all think back upon our lives and remember times where both self-image and self-esteem were negatively affected by interactions with others. The times when we were figuring out who we are and where we fit in the world were the worst. Acknowledging and being aware of what’s going on in your kid’s heads and hearts is the most effective thing parents and grandparents can do as a proactive parent. Self-image changes over time and self-esteem is not fixed for life.
 
I could not be more excited about having the opportunity co-facilitate the GIRL STONG group at Edmond Family Counseling. This group focuses on girls becoming more aware of their themselves and learning how to maintain control of the impact their interactions with others may have upon their self-esteem. This group supports the idea that girls don’t have to be anybody that they do not choose to be. The world gives us all twisted ideas about who and what we should be. The problem lies within not recognizing the twisted aspect, especially during adolescence when it may be your “best friends” or peers who are can be most incredibly hurtful. This damage to our selves may be avoided or the impact lessened by the knowledge and understanding offered in the Girl Strong curriculum. Check out 13 ways to boost your daughter’s self-esteem at http://www.childmind.org/en/posts/articles/2012-9-25-13-ways-help-build-your-daughters-self-esteem.

Support your community mental health organization. Edmond Family Counseling has served the teens and families of Edmond for 40 years. Visit the website to see a full offering of programs. www.edmondfamily.org. Be sure your teen has downloaded the BeEdmond app. Stay connected. Stay safe!


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