As a parent, professional, mentor, or clergy, you are aware that something alarming happens as girls begin to experience the changes of puberty. Girls who seem comfortable with their identity in grade school experience a crisis of confidence as they enter the middle school grades. These warning signs signal more trouble ahead:
- Constant worries about what her friends think
- Critical self-talk and low self-esteem
- Chronic anxiety
- Emotional up’s and down’s that seem out of control
- Wants to wear revealing or tight clothing
- Obsesses about her weight and appearance
- Worries about having a boyfriend
- Is embattled in girl drama
- Argues with family rules
What is Healthy Transitions for Girls?
Healthy Transitions for Girls is a strength-based curriculum to help girls to develop positive body image during the critical window of ages 8 to 14 when they experience the changes of puberty. Whether you are running a therapy group, developing a series of prevention workshops, or targeting a specific problem during a crisis, the Healthy Transitions for Girls Workbook (294 pages) and Healthy Transitions for Girls Handout Pages (66 pages) will give you the tools you need. Healthy Transitions for Girls activities can be used in families, schools, agencies, homeschool co-ops and faith-based settings. Healthy Transitions for Girls can be used to address specific areas of needs, such as girl drama and bullying, or it can be used to plan a series of workshops.
Why Is Positive Body Image Such a Big Deal?
Positive body image has been defined as “the greatest single predictor of self-esteem for adolescents of different ethnicities.” How a girl feels about her body affects every area of her life for the rest of her life. Developing a positive relationship with her body helps a girl to resist substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, unhealthy dating relationships, risky sexual behavior, girl drama, bullying, and low self-esteem, Yes, body image is a BIG deal! Healthy Transitions for Girls builds strengths in ALL areas required to develop positive body image.
Why Do Girls Ages 8 to 14 Need Healthy Transitions for Girls?
As girls experience the physical changes of puberty, they unconsciously seek belief systems to make sense of these changes. It’s as if their brain is “taking snapshots” and building a photo album of “selfies” based upon what they see and experience during this critical stage. Unfortunately, because we live in the “age of image,” girls experience thousands of messages that represent unrealistic, sexualized concepts of what it means to be a young woman in today’s society. Their brain stores these images and says, “Here, this is what you are supposed to be like, even if it is impossible and unhealthy.” It sounds like a powerful form of “brain washing,” doesn’t it? If you have an eight or nine year old and wonder if it is too early to start preparing her for puberty, the answer is “No!” “Start now. Give the girls you love tools to navigate the ‘minefield’ of media messages that assault girls today.
How Do Girls Benefit from Healthy Transitions for Girls?
Healthy Transitions for Girls uses creative activities to build essential strengths:
- Reframe negative belief systems and creates positive belief systems.
- Strengthen relationships with parents
- Use appropriate boundaries in peer relationships
- Understand and manage emotions
- Develop healthy femininity
- Increase self-esteem
- Learn coping skills
- Build communication skills
- Desire healthy eating, exercise, and other self-care practices
- Use strategies for resisting harmful media messages
- Develop values such as empathy, respect, self-control, sexual abstinence, modesty, and spirituality
In Healthy Transitions for Girls, the objective of each activity is an “I can” statement, such as “I can develop a working definition of femininity that is non-sexualized,” or “I can recognize my support systems and learn to ask for help.”
Healthy Transitions for Girls helps girls to develop values that are essential for developing a healthy identity and true intimacy in relationships as they grow to adulthood.:
- modesty in dress
- healthy, non-sexual relationships with boys
- attention to qualities that bring “real beauty,” such as empathy and compassion
- ability to differentiate between real femininity and “sex appeal”
- the beautiful potential of giving life and breastfeeding
- spiritual guidance through “gut feelings”
- appreciation for the body as a miraculous creation
In short, Healthy Transitions for Girls speaks to both the minds and the hearts of girls.
How is Healthy Transition for Girls Different From Other Programs?
Healthy Transitions for Girls is unique to other programs because it:
- Targets ALL areas of strength required to develop positive body image based upon science.
- Teaches “mindfulness” to help girls manage stress and listen to their inner guidance systems
- Uses a holistic wellness approach that honors the WHOLE girl
- Starts early enough to make a difference.
- Is developed for parents and professionals
- Can be used in faith-based settings and schools
- Makes YOU an expert on how to help the girls you love
How Do I Buy Healthy Transitions for Girls?
Looking for professional help?
To contact Peggy A McFarland, LPC by phone or email, visit her Psychology Today Listing.