This morning, an interviewer asked me how the idea for Friendship & Other Weapons came to be. Thought it was worth sharing with you as well…
My previous book, How to Be Angry, started with the fundamental premise that anger is OK; its 15-session curriculum is all about giving children, tweens and teens specific assertive skills to express their anger in constructive, relationship-building ways. After writing the book, it became obvious to me that there is a large group of young people who are shut out from this basic presupposition that anger is a normal, natural human experience. Millions of young girls in the United States grow up immersed in a social universe in which “being angry” is equated with “being bad” or, at best, not “being nice.” (more…)
I was a big fan of Sesame Street as a kid and am a bigger fan now, as a Mom. Check out how the show is approaching the problem of bullying with young children–focusing on prevention (where we have a prayer) rather than relying on intervention (where we constantly swim upstream). LOVE it!
I love that more and more of us are addressing bullying during early childhood, where these behaviors have their roots. Check out this great clip–the first in a series of five produced by Sesame Workshop:
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:
Wow. Some things you know intuitively, but you don’t take the time to consider how astounding they are until someone puts all of the pieces together like this filmmaker did. In Friendship & Other Weapons, parents and professionals have three chapters devoted to helping kids examine media influences and pressures, knowing that awareness can build resistance.
Please check out this amazing short film–with your daughter!
Today is International Day of the Girl! To celebrate the occasion, New Moon Girls is officially kicking off their Girl Caught Campaign to help raise awareness–and build resilience–in girls about the impact of media messaging. Check out their site, download your own set of Girl-Caught stickers, and help change the world, one girl at a time:
You’ve heard about baby beauty pageants, lingerie marketed to pre-schoolers, and JC Penney’s, “I”m too pretty to do my homework” T-shirt. The Girl-Caught campaign aims to raise awareness about these ubiquitous and degrading media messages because, as I write in Friendship & Other Weapons, “When girls are aware of how entertainment and advertising images are altered, they are better able to resist the pressures of “measuring up” to the images.”
Get involved in Girl-Caught with your own daughter. Log in to the New Moon Girls site to download or print out your own Girl-Caught stickers. Paste them to the negative or positive Girl-Catches you find, then upload them to Girl-Caught! This is a great, interactive campaign that parents and kids can enjoy–and learn through–together.
Most of all, Girl-Caught “encourages girls to think critically about media images and to become informed consumers rather
than passive recipients of the media.” (Whitson, 2011).
You may have heard the furor over JC Penny’s recent back-to-school T-Shirt for girls that read, “I’m Too Pretty to do My Homework, So My Brother Has to do it for Me.”
Check out Pigtail Pals’ response, via their newest T-shirt design for little girls:
Pigtail Pals founder Melissa Wardy is featured here on her local news station talking about the importance of making sure that little girls have products and apparel on the market that allow them to be little girls:
This is one of the best, most girl power-ful posts I have ever read. Love it, love the organization!
Please check them out: