Girl Power is an educational, skill-building and creative group designed to introduce girls ages 9-12 to concepts and skills that promote a positive self-image. Girl Power assists girls to challenge social rules and media messages that diminish a girl’s sense of self as they move toward adolescence. The group activities raise self-esteem, self-worth and increase abilities to cope with the upcoming teen challenges. Through a connection to inner resources girls will explore ways to claim a healthy connection to themselves, peers, and the community.
Pre-teen girls are inundated with cultural, social and media messages that are disempowering. Socialization in our culture tells girls they need to be smarter, thinner, more beautiful and encourages the externalization of the approval process. In short, our girls are often striving for unattainable or unhealthy goals.
In addition girls peer relationships at this age are often a source of confusion. To be socially accepted girls lose their capacity to speak their minds, and adopt postures of social, verbal, and physical restraint. At Girl Power dialogue regarding peer relationships, body image, body changes, and other pertinent age-relevant topics are explored in a fun, safe and creative environment.
Prevention…..awareness and problem-solving dialogue can make the upcoming teen years easier for girls to navigate.
Girl Power = Awareness + Skills + Creativity
Each day we meet starts with a sharing circle and there we introduce a topic for discussion. Such topics include media images of girls and women, body image, friendships and peers, body changes, and inner personal power.
“I like to talk about the topics and found the body image most helpful.”
Sarah, age 9
Using a skill-based approach, Girl Power introduces the participants to a variety of tools that assist in self-image and peer relations. Girls stay centered, expressive and learn to value themselves in this process. Communication skills, meditation, creative visualization, circle sharing and journal writing are skills that the girls explore.
“I think that it is very inspirational and helpful to pre-teens.”
Jill, age 12
Instilling new skills is best done combining education with a creative context. Thus, each new concept introduced in Girl Power is taught together with a creative activity. The girls interact and play during these activities.
Various creative projects are made using an array of fabrics, paper, beads, collage and drawings.
“I liked meeting friends, having fun, and making stuff.”
Megan, age 10