Based on our many years of running programs and countless conversations with girls, parents, caregivers, and educators, we know that our work is impactful. Yet we’re always so deeply moved to hear how our programs and tools help people make positive change in their lives. We recently had an opportunity to chat with Stacy Peña, …

I recently found myself acting like a 6 year old, and not in a run-around-the-yard-barefoot, happy-go-lucky kind of way. It was more of a “but-you-started-it” shouting match kind of way. Needless to say, it wasn’t my proudest parenting moment. by Molly Mills 2 min read

We often ask parents to role model conflict as an opportunity for change. Kim O’Malley, Girls Leadership’s Senior Educator for Colorado, shares how she used 4 Steps for Healthy Conflict, a powerful tool from our Parent & Daughter Workshop curriculum to resolve a conflict in her home. Dear Dishwasher, We have to talk. Your relentless need for …

What Can Parents Do About Mean Girl Behavior?

In Part 2 of 2 of her series on bullying, Samantha Parent Walravens provides pathways to discuss Mean Girl behavior with your teen girl, and steps to take if bullying is happening.

As a parent, what should you do if you suspect that your daughter is being bullied by a mean girl?

1. Get the facts. Find out what’s happening, who’s doing it, how long it’s been going on, and if the teacher knows.
2. Make sure your child knows that it’s not her fault.
3. Talk about ways of responding to mean girls’ behavior. Role-play with her, acting out the different scenarios she might encounter.
4. Encourage her to get involved in activities that focus on her talents and interests, especially activities outside of school and even outside of town. This will help her form new friendships outside of the “cliques” and put her with kids who share common interests. It may help your child realize that the mean girls are not “all that.”
5. Tell her your own story if you were bullied as a child (and most of us were, in some way). What did you do in response? Did it work?

What Motivates Mean Girl Behavior?

Samantha Parent Walravens gets to the heart of the “Mean Girl” culture, so that we can effectively address it. Instead of merely demonizing the behavior, understanding the motivations can be a first step to stopping it.

Our culture is fascinated with the image of the mean girl. Reality TV shows like The Real Housewives of New York, The Jersey Shore, and The Hills feature real-life mean girls in action — publicly humiliating and spreading nasty rumors about each other, pitting friend against friend, excluding or rejecting former friends, and even engaging in physical aggression.

Mean Girls in Kindergarten? Are You Kidding Me?

Samantha Parent Walravens realizes how early drama can arise among young girls, especially in school.

I have four kids – my boys are 15 and 13, my girls are 9 and 5. While my boys nearly drove me into the ground as toddlers with their endless physical energy and constant running around, the girls are currently winning the race to dig me an early grave with their ongoing girl drama and emotional highs and lows.

If I had to choose, I’d take the physical exhaustion of boys over the emotional exhaustion of girls ANY DAY.

I wasn’t expecting the girl drama to start at such a young age, however. This morning, my 5-year-old stopped me at the door of her Kindergarten classroom with tears running down her chubby little cheeks. She told me that she was scared to go to school, that her friends weren’t being nice, and that she wanted to go home.

Mothers’ Leadership: Confidence, Conflict Resolution, and Coffee at 3AM

Mothers are the number one influencers of girls’ leadership ambitions. At GLI, we’re celebrating Mother’s Day and honoring mothers by sharing their stories of personal and professional leadership. In this piece, mother Stacy Peña shares her thoughts on confidence, conflict resolution, and what being the face of leadership means to her.

No one likes conflict. Not the young, not the old. Women in particular learn at a young age to please, and to make nice with those who disagree with us. When the naysayers argue loudly, we learn that if we don’t want to give in, then we had better sidestep them quietly. We’d better stay …