Raising Worry-Free Girls: Helping your daughter feel braver, stronger, and smarter in an anxious world.
I wanted to read this book for several reasons.
1) To get a better understanding on why my daughter reacts/behaves/thinks the way she does when she is feeling anxious.
2) Tools and strategies for her to use when she is beginning to feel anxious.
3) Coach me (the parent) on what NOT to do in situations where I can sense her anxiety.
Let me tell you, all three were checked off the list. Right from the start this book shares that anxiety looks and acts different for everyone BUT there is a major difference between boys and girls. The tools can be used for anyone but the how and why are as different as night and day.
I am NOT a helicopter parent. If you have seen my pictures on Instagram, they often roam free in the woods and get themselves into sticky situations. If a squabble arises my first statement is for them to work it out with each other. It’s important they learn to talk to each other and either find a solution or walk away if someone needs to cool off. That being said, if I think their feelings will be hurt or if I don't think they will stand up for themselves, I step (or more appropriately, jump) in and speak up.
BUT when I do step in too quickly to rescue them I am communicating they NEED to be rescued. If I see my daughter start to falter and I take control then I am telling her she is not capable of handling it, which of course is exactly what we do NOT want to communicate. As parents we want them to feel confident and brave so we may try to keep her from situations that will trigger her fear and anxiety. It’s coming from a place of love and my own worries but it will not help her in the long run. We need to equip her with tools and strategies and then step back and allow her to shine and fail. Yes, she will fail but how we respond (don’t exaggerate the problem) will further teach her valuable lessons.
So yeah, I heard my own worries in this book and have a lot to work on ALONGSIDE my daughter. She has to face her own Worry Monster, I can not do it for her. That’s the point, give her the confidence to face it head on so the next time she sees it she is ready to speak up confidently and believe in herself.