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Empowering girls course - what do you think?

(3 Posts)
Narnia72 Tue 07-Feb-17 13:23:13

DD (9) has really struggled with friendships and self confidence this year. It's been quite a shock to me, as until now she's always been pretty popular and happy to go into school. Her best friend since reception turned against her towards the end of year 3, and despite having a respite from each other over the summer, it got really nasty with the other girl telling others not to play with her etc. Autumn term was really hard, with DD not wanting to go in and crying with tummy ache, brought on by the stress of it all. She's really tried hard with other friendships and is slowly finding her feet, but the slightest knock throws her, and she's back to a sobbing heap. We have worked really hard to develop friendships out of school, and do Brownies, drama, and dance classes to facilitate this.

I've been trying to find something that she could go on away from school that might help her to (a) feel more positive and confident about herself and (b) realise that lots of girls go through similar things, not just her.

There's not much around (Herts - but happy to go to London), and the stuff about is based at children from 11 upwards. I therefore wondered about putting something together, with suitably qualified people.

I envisage a day where the message is we are all unique and loveable in our own ways, and that we believe we are strong and in control of our own destiny. It needs to be fun, no whiff of school.

I was thinking about including some of the following:

- mindfulness session - how to stop busy brains and negative thoughts
- role play - how to deal with conflict, a bully, being ignored
- some kind of self defence class - very basic
- words - how they hurt and how they can be used positively. Also would like to incorporate how to counter negative messages about girls (you throw like a girl, don't cry, only girls do that etc) that is so much a part of everyday life
- what's your secret emotional superpower - what are you really good at?
- a song and dance session to get adrenaline going and feel part of the group. Maybe making their own song up, or using a known tune and writing new lyrics. In any case, a good dance number

What do you think? Is this the kind of thing your primary girls would be interested in? Is there anything you would like to see? I wondered about running a course at the same time for parents, to help them deal with these issues from a parent's perspective.

I'm not trying to flog anything, this is very much an initial idea and if anyone knows of anything already in existence please do let me know, as I'd love to send my daughter on it.

In terms of time and cost, I was thinking of a 9-3 day, and around the £35 mark. Does this sound appealing?

Thanks for any thoughts and feedback.

mathanxiety Thu 09-Feb-17 00:28:11

II think it all sounds very nice.

There are a lot of books on the topic of girl friendships and toxic girl relationships - check out American Girl titles and also books by Rosalind Wiseman.

However, I think what girls need is a school that takes its responsibility seriously when it comes to bullying, which is what your daughter suffered, and the message that girls are inferior.

A school should create a climate where any interpersonal behaviour that falls short of the requirements of kindness and respect is unacceptable. Everyone is entitled to a school environment that is welcoming and feels safe both physically and emotionally.

If you are able to find a martial arts class, maybe give that a try. Team sports are also very good for girls.

Dance and drama can be pretty catty and very competitive areas, and dance in particular can be an unforgiving environment for girls who gain puppy fat in the run up to puberty and afterwards.

mathanxiety Thu 09-Feb-17 00:28:58

What have the school done to fulfill their duty towards your DD?

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