I’m definitely a list maker, and with the back-to-school shuffle, I have more lists than usual. Besides the normal ones…school supplies, appointments, etc., I also have one big fat list of TALKS I want to have with my daughter before the new school year begins.
I can just see her 🙄 at the prospect of more “talks,” but I know for a fact, that reminders matter. As the adolescent brain is developing, they benefit from hearing the same message in multiple contexts – so I feel justified. Also, I’m not talking about reminders to clean her room or wear her retainer. What’s more important to me are the things that can boost her mental and emotional health as a new school year starts.
So, here are my top five (for this week anyway) 😏
✅ I’ll give her permission to seek confidential help or advice from trusted adults other than her Dad and me. I’ll definitely endorse her big sisters, my best friend, her aunt, and ask if there’s another adult she wants to add to the list. And I’ll also let these adults know I’ve entrusted them to “follow” her, provide advice if she seeks it (or if they see she needs it).
It takes a village, and she needs elders who care about her.
✅ I’ll remind her that she should pay attention to “her gut” which sometimes shows up as “her natural instinct,” “her intuition,” or “the “voice in her head.” This represents the collective voices of her family’s values, her faith, and her honest heart.
She really wants to do the right thing.
✅ I’ll also remind her that her “inner voice” or “self talk” can sometimes sound super critical, saying mean or ugly things to herself. When that happens, she should talk back to that voice in the same way she would speak to a friend.
Self love can be hard.
✅ I’ll tell her my hopes and expectations for her behavior, specifically around the challenges that come with adolescence like honesty, relationships, social media posts, and substances. We’ll agree on appropriate consequences for choosing to ignore the rules. The choices will be hers, as will the consequences.
She feels safer with boundaries.
✅ I’ll remind her that there will always be people who seem to have more fun, more freedom, more money, more friends, more popularity, nicer stuff, better grades, and more skills than she does. She is not in competition with anyone but herself, and once she accepts this, she can focus on doing her personal best and sharing in others’ successes.
She is enough.
Dr. Trish and I actually incorporated some of these skills (changing self-talk, boosting confidence, putting media messages in perspective…) into our Class for middle schoolers called, Be You. If your child needs a little pep talk in these areas (and who doesn’t?), it can give her some back to school skills, reminders, and confidence! Like all of our classes, this one is available to Girlology members.
I better get to it! What talks will you be having with your kids? Hit reply, and let me know!
Happy chatting! 🗣
Did you know Girlology has grade-by-grade video on demand playlists to support her and you — on topics like this and lots others? Learn More HERE.