Time to turn this vicious circle on its head.
This year I ran a pilot project to help teen girls with issues embracing self-esteem, self-awareness and assertive self-development. We worked on difficulties around friendship, how to say no, and how to change the dynamic from negative to positive when faced with immense peer pressure. We looked at our thoughts and behaviours and worked with tools that would help shift awareness to help become more positive, supportive and constructive, not only towards ourselves but towards our peers and our families.
The pilot was a great success, the girls enjoyed it so much and did not want it to end. They created a support group that they are using to this day. It was clear to me that this scheme should be open to all teen girls that are struggling with day to day obligations around anything from friendship peer pressure to confidence issues, stress, anxiety and much more.
One common theme that was identified during the workshops was the need to understand that each and every one of them can easily contribute to any given problem. That until they become self-aware of this, they may continue to make mistakes and also follow peer groups like sheep. Because of the lack of skills to turn a situation around for a better and more productive outcome. They are failing to live up to becoming healthy and confident girls that they should be.
Young girls are falling deeper and deeper into problems that, on their own, they cant find solutions. I see time and time again. Often, they do not want to go along with the crowd, but, they do not have the skills or the courage to stand up for themselves. They are so afraid of being judged or dumped by their peers, they either play along with the game. Or, they keep quiet, not even talking or sharing these difficulties with their parents.
But, in doing so, they start to lose touch with their inner values and morals, leaving them feeling vulnerable and confused. This downward spiral can lead them very quickly on a journey of low self-interest, low self-worth, and when this carries on for an extended period, it can cause severe health dilemmas. Severe breakdown in trust issues. It can leave them feeling empty and unable to focus.
I think we can agree that all girls want to be happy; they all want to be excepted, appreciated and respected. I believe that girls could and should be supporting each other on every level. They should be a network of encouragement that empowers, protects and creates a secure environment where problems and weaknesses can be supported and shared. Without judgment or ridicule. Just kindness sincerity and wholesome relationships.
Yet, in today's society, girls are becoming more and more bitchy, super competitive. Emotionally damaging and draining each other. Creating negative emotions that are filled with hurt and insecurities. This is consuming most if not all of their energy, making them sick and very unhappy. With the rise in mental health issues, it is clear that something needs to change.
Girls need to understand that this is not what life intended. Things need to improve dramatically. We already have an epidemic of troubled girls that has bought a massive strain into every household. It has gone beyond learning and growing. It is Leaving girls extremely troubled, and parents feeling worried and distraught about the welfare of their daughters.
It is through these workshops girls can discover how to undo this mess and strive for a happier and healthier way forward. Bringing change to a lifetime of unnecessary misery.