Great Video to Teach Kids about the Permanency of Online Posts


In Friendship & Other Weapons, girls are given the opportunity to learn and talk about the role of social media in their lives and relationships.  This YouTube video is a great entre for teaching girls–and boys–about the permancy of what they post online–via Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, or even text.  “Once you post it, you lose control.”

Showing and discussing this video with kids is 99 seconds well-spent.

Thinner, Sexier, Hotter: 3 Ways to Help Your Daughter Resist Media Pressures


How many times have you heard your daughter singing along to a popular song on the radio and innocently belting out the kind of lyrics that would otherwise get her sent to her room? In the moment, you believe (desperately want to believe!) that she is unaware of the innuendo and unaffected by its explicit content. But messages embedded in song lyrics, along with video imagery, and advertising influence do have an impact on the ways girls think about themselves and their relationships with others. Without having to resort to a full-on pop music ban or complete shunning of media, you can help your daughters-and other young girls-become aware of media messages that violate values and degrade girls.

Please check out my article at Huff Post for ideas on talking to girls about media pressures:,b=facebook

Re-thinking the “Drama” Approach to Bullying


Please check out this is great, thought-provoking op-ed piece from the NY Times.  I whole-heartedly agree that with the authors that:

Interventions must focus on positive concepts like healthy relationships and digital citizenship rather than starting with the negative framing of bullying. The key is to help young people feel independently strong, confident and capable without first requiring them to see themselves as either an oppressed person or an oppressor.

It’s the social worker in me, I suppose; I am a strengths-perspective kinda girl.  In my new book, this is the approach I take.    While the book title Friendship & Other Weapons is used to convey to adult readers the nature of how girl bullying is acted out within relationships, girl participants will come to know their membership as part of a Real Friendships group.  As such, the solution-focused lessons, engaging group activities and relevant discussions will help girls cope with “drama” in honest, relationship-enhancing, self-affirming ways.

Confessions of a Former Bully


In Friendship & Other Weapons, I feature an activity for girls based on Trudy Ludwig’s fantastic book, My Secret Bully.  The book is all about how bullying can be disguised as friendship and how particularly painful this type of subtle, hidden, “I Was Just Kidding” aggression can be.  My Secret Bully also offers kids great insights into how to cope with bullying effectively, from sharing experiences with trusted adults to standing up for themselves.  I love it–a definite favorite!

Trudy Ludwig’s most recent book, Confessions of a Former Bully, also provides great ideas and insights for handling bullying.  The following blog post, from the School Counselor Blog, talks about an activity that one school counselor has developed, based on Ludwig’s new work:

‘Odd Girl Out’ tackles bullying in the digital age


‘Odd Girl Out’ tackles bullying in the digital age.

Rachel Simmons did a great interview this morning on the Today Show, talking about girls & cyberbullying.  Always great to hear from her…always frightening to think about the parenting perils ahead of me, raising two daughters.

3 Ways to Help Your Daughter Understand & Withstand Media Influences


Messages embedded in song lyrics, video imagery, and advertising influence the ways girls think about themselves and their relationships with others. You can help your daughters–and other young girls–become aware of media messages that violate values and degrade girls, using these engaging conversations and activities: (more…)

5 Ways to Talk with Your Daughter About Technology, from Rachel Simmons


In her newly revised and updated  book, Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, author Rachel Simmons suggests five conversation starters for parents to use to get their daughters to open up about social media use.  “Opening lines” and areas ripe for discussion include:

1.  What’s your favorite thing to do online or on your phone?

2. Would your friendships be better or worse without technology? Easier or harder? (more…)

Rachel Simmons Offers Tip for Parents on Teenage Girls’ Use of Social Media


Click below to listen to Odd Girl Out author Rachel Simmons’ NPR interview on Teenage Girls & Social Media.

The Breathtaking Cruelty of Formspring: What Every Parent Should Know


Read below for bestselling author Rachel Simmons’ (Odd Girl Out, Odd Girl Speaks Out, The Curse of the Good Girl) perspective and very helpful suggestions for talking to young girls about the “breathtakingly cruel” website Formspring:

Formspring: Enabling the Cruelest Form of Bullying with the Greatest of Ease.


Having just read the post below, I am still speechless…which is fine because this Mama said it all so well:

I adore her apt description: Formspring is the present-day version of the bathroom stall on steroids, enabling the cruelest form of bullying with the greatest of ease.

Are you aware of the website Formspring?  As the mother of 8 and 5-year old girls, I was not…yet…but am so glad to know about it early so that I can do a little early intervention and hopefully prevention.

You know, it’s crazy–I feel like me, and so many other parents and professionals out there, are putting their hearts and souls into helping girls cope with bullying–then a site like this comes along and makes money hand over first with no purpose or objective other than to wreck young girls.   Where is the conscience?




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