74: Growing Strong Girls
Lindsay Sealey, author of Growing Strong Girls and “girl advocate” speaks with me this week about how to help your daughter find, understand, and value her own voice. With girls receiving so many conflicting external messages, it is vital we help them strengthen their internal self!
Full Show Notes
Be assertive…but be nice to everyone. Love your body…but lose ten pounds. Be proud of your achievements…but work harder. Wear these clothes…but be unique. These are the conflicting messages that girls are constantly faced with on social media, at school, on TV, even sometimes at home. It’s confusing enough for full-grown women to know how to act in the face of such pressure, but even more so for a thirteen-year-old!
Teenage and preteen girls are in an incredibly vulnerable stage in their lives. Society and the culture bombard them with messages telling them to act, look, and even feel certain ways! Without the proper guidance, it’s easy for daughters to feel overwhelmed in this sea of content. They may be afraid to ask questions and torn about who to listen too. This is why it’s absolutely vital for parents to teach their daughters from a young age to be proud of their own voice, understand & value their needs, and pursue their interests. If not, daughters may get answers from the wrong places!
Lindsay Sealey, author of Growing Strong Girls: Practical Tools to Cultivate Connection in the Preteen Years and “girl advocate”, sat down with me to talk about this and a lot more! For fifteen years, Sealey has been running group workshops and working with young girls one-on-one to help them develop their own sense of pride, confidence, and selfhood–making her an authority when it comes to helping parents connect to and support their daughters!
According to Sealey, a major part of empowering young girls is to provide them with a safe space to focus on their own wants and needs. In an age defined by comparing ourselves to others, it’s crucial for girls to understand—first and foremost—they need to make themselves happy. Sealey points out parents have an incredible opportunity to foster this revelation through quality time and attention to their daughters, not to mention, taking care of themselves!
Parents also need to listen first to their daughters, before jumping in with their own stories and advice. Often times, Sealey maintains, the drama that comes with girlhood is actually an opportunity to develop important skills. Still, parents must be willing to validate their daughter’s feelings and help them process emotions in a healthy way. Otherwise, girls feel belittled and like their opinions and experiences don’t really matter.
In the interview, we discuss not only these topics, but concrete exercises parents can use to help their daughters develop into strong young women! We also talk about:
- The pros and cons of having a “BFF”
- Helping girls navigate social media and technology
- How to be a positive role model
- Teaching girls to set appropriate boundaries
- And the importance of discussing emotions
In such a fast-paced and content-heavy society, it’s vital for us to teach our daughters to value their own distinct voices–and in my conversation with Lindsay we discuss just that! So grateful to have Lindsay as a guest!
The 21-minute public version is free to listen to, and the 40-minute extended version, packed with extra goodies, is reserved for site members. Log in or start a free trial to access everything our site has to offer!
Word-for-word examples of WHAT to say to your teen
1. Stop a gossipy teen with:
“You sounds really angry.”
“Your frustration makes sense to me.”
“That IS really sad–I would feel sad about that too.”
2. When your daughter tells you about friendship drama:
3. Before jumping in with your own story ask:
4. If your teen asks for help to get a thing done at the last minute:
Step-by-step guides for applying the ideas from this interview
1. Model Setting Boundaries on Your Time
As you teach your daughter the importance of setting boundaries, it’s also important to model that behavior. A big one Lindsay Sealey mentioned in our interview is not being available 24/7 to your daughter. Everyone needs to have personal space and time where they know they will not be interrupted.
For the next two weeks, notice when your daughter asks for help or wants you to listen to a story. In a journal, on piece of paper, or in your notes app on your phone, jot down each time your daughter interrupts you as you are doing important work or when you are in a state of focus or when you just want to be alone. Set a few new boundaries around times or activities to prevent unwanted interruptions. Doing this doesn’t mean you don’t want to hear what your daughter has to say, it’s just protecting your own time the way she will need to learn to protect hers. Have a conversation where you introduce the new boundaries and ask if there are any she would like to set for herself.
2. What are They Selling Our Girls?
About Lindsay Sealey
In addition to being the author of Growing Strong Girls, Lindsay Sealey is the Founder and CEO of Bold New Girls where she is the main “girl advocate.” Lindsay is a speaker and coach, working with girls of all ages and educating parents on what they can do to help their girls grow strong. Lindsay has made several appearances on Global News and contributed writing to The Globe & Mail as well as the Toronto Star.
Lindsay hails from Vancouver, Canada. Her next book, Rooted, Resilient, and Ready: Empowering Teen Girls As They Grow, is due out Spring 2020.