Hopetown Highlights: 9th and 10th Grade - Being Un-Dragoned

We started out our 9th-10th grade camp with a boy named Eustace.  Eustace wasn’t actually at camp with us…except that he was. Eustace was a character in the movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, that we watched the first night of camp.  And Eustace, basically, is every one of us.

Eustace started out as quite a grumpy young fellow.  Nothing quite suited him…no situation, no environment, and certainly, no one.  He grumbled his way, much like a little monster, through the beginning of the movie until a certain scene when Eustace was transformed… 

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Hopetown Highlights:  All Girls’ Camp

Let’s have our eyes open to what God may want to show us…

 “The next day John SAW Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘LOOK, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.’ Then John gave this testimony: I SAW the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.  And I myself did not know…

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Are My Kids on Track: Girls and Boundaries Part Two

Building Block #2: A Good Template

“I don’t know how to confront someone.” Girl after girl after girl has said these words to me in my counseling office. Girls of all ages . . . women of all ages, in fact. I honestly don’t know how at times, either. But I have a friend who does. She confronts people who don’t even know they’ve been confronted. I’ve watched her do it over the years with friends, with her husband, and with anyone who crosses over the line of her strong, kind boundaries...

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Are My Kids on Track: Girls and Boundaries Part One

Stumbling Blocks for Girls

Stumbling Block #1: “Not Enough-ness”

I was an only child until I was 16 years-old, when my parents said, “Surprise!” and delightedly rocked my world with a baby sister. Until that time, my parents did a great job of trying to help me learn awareness and reciprocity through friendships. They scheduled lots of playdates and sleepovers, always with my elated approval. My mom still laughs, however, about my pattern whenever someone would...

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Are My Kids on Track: Girls and Reciprocity, Part 1

Let’s talk about tennis. I (Sissy) am not sure if you’ve ever played. I have quite a bit. Not well, but quite a bit. I spent lots of hours and lots of my parents’ well-earned money growing up in tennis lessons. Somehow, my ball always seemed to end up in the next court over rather than my own. But I played enough to learn the basics. And the basics of tennis are the primary analogy I use in my office to teach girls about reciprocity.

If you’ve never played, let me fill you in. I (try to) serve the ball to you. You see my ball and hit it back to me. I see the ball and (hopefully) hit it back to you. And so on and so forth. That’s what tennis lessons will get you. It’s...

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AMKOT - Girls and Resourcefulness Part Two

Building Blocks for Girls and Resourcefulness

I’ve been doing some research lately on my non-resourceful, happily stuck, and perfectionistically paralyzed girls. There are just too many of them, and I want to help. I want to help but don’t want to help more than they want help. What can I do? What can you do with your daughter to build her resourcefulness? Let’s start where resourcefulness typically starts: motivation...

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"Are My Kids on Track?" FALL Update

Pat yourself on the back.   Treat yourself to a fancy cup of coffee.  You did it!  

You made it past the first few weeks of school, and that’s not an easy feat.   For all the years we’ve been working with kids and families, we’ve consistently seen how difficult that transition can be for so many kids and parents.  A new teacher, new friends, new routine, new expectations...

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Are My Kids on Track: Girls and Perspective Part One

We are only 5 days away from the release of "Are My Kids on Track?" Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? We are so excited to share this new parenting resource with each of you! Nashville, we would love to see you, on Tuesday night, February 14, at the book release party! It will be from 6-9pm, at K. McCarthy, in Green Hills.  There will be book signing, festive treats, holiday shopping, and give-aways!

Today, we hear from Sissy, in the book on Girls and Perspective.  This will be a two-part series so tune in next week for the second half...

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Talking to Girls about Puberty

My 9 year-old daughter is already acting like a teenager.  When should I expect things to start to change with her, and when do I need to talk to her about puberty and sex?

The answer to all these questions is “Yes.”  You need to talk to her.  Actually, you need have conversations with her all along the way, just as David mentioned regarding boys...  

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Girls, Bravery, and Bible Belles

I talk with girls a LOT about bravery behind the doors of my counseling office.  Girls often have a tendency to shrink back.  They doubt their voices.  They don’t believe they’re capable.  They don’t trust their strength.  I believe those doubts are a contributor to the struggles I see—with self-esteem, with anxiety, and with a whole host of issues girls face today in greater amounts than ever before.

For those of us who have girls in our lives that we love, we want something different.  We want them to feel brave, courageous, resilient, strong.  And we want them to learn to pepper those important traits with kindness...

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Hopetown Highlights - Session 2 - Girls Camp

“Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.  The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?’ They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.  Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, ‘The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.’ Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.  Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. ‘Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?’  ‘No one, Master.’  ‘Neither do I,’ said Jesus. ‘Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.’  John 8:1-12

Jesus once again addressed them: ‘I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.’

This verse started off Melissa’s teaching to the high school all girls’ camp.  "Many of us have read this story many times.  What stands out to you about it here...

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TECHNOLOGY TUESDAY: SkinneePix

I spend a lot of time with girls talking about their bodies…body image, body weight, body size, as well as the body image, weight, sizes of the girls surrounding them at school.  Of course, as a counselor to girls, this is one of the issues that plague them the most.  Now, in the age of selfies and snapchat, they are constantly uploading pictures for all of the world to see.  But how many selfies do they actually take before it’s the right “selfie?”  How do they angle their elbows in just the right way?  Position their heads?  Do anything that can make them look a few pounds lighter or a few inches thinner?  Anything that can make us look the same? (We’re guilty, too…)

As always, our tech friends have stepped up to the plate with an answer...

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Can Where the Wild Things Are Teach Kids Empathy?

"Kids who spend their early years lost in the imaginary worlds of children’s fiction — Where the Wild Things Are, Corduroy, Beatrix Potter’s stories of Peter Rabbit — may be getting more out of the stories than pure entertainment. Narrative fiction seems to make young children more empathetic, according to research presented at this weekend’s American Psychological Association convention in Washington, D.C. 

Fiction, of course, lets you see the world through another set of eyes, and that isn’t lost on young children...

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A Cure for Entitlement

"Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."                Luke 6: 37-38,  The Message

When my daughter turned thirteen, she began to reveal greater and greater evidence that she was in the throws of adolescence.  Some mornings we’d wake to find the little girl we’d known since birth - kind, compassionate, responsive and delightful.  Other days, we’d wake to someone else.  This other person looked like my daughter, but..

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Mother's Day & The Gilmore Girls

As a counselor, I make a lot of recommendations to families.  One of my favorites—for mother’s and daughters, in particular, is to watch a show called the Gilmore Girls together.  It is hilarious and sweet—and speaks to the longevity and loyalty of relationship.  Lorelai is not a perfect mom, nor is Rory a perfect daughter (although she tries awfully hard).  They go through the normal ups and downs that moms and their girls (and boys) do—especially in those delightful middle school years.  But they always come back to each other. 

A college friend of mine recently wrote a beautiful blog about her mom—about their ups and downs, their loyalty, their longevity—actually their Lorelai and Rory-ness. 

In every parenting seminar we teach, we talk about how kids push away from parents.  It’s a part of growing up.  It’s a part of what they have to do in order to grow up.  It’s called individuating.  Mom’s, they often push off of you the hardest.  But they do come back.  Continue Reading...

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Technology Tuesday: The Inside Scoop on Instagram

Just last week, I taught a parenting class on Raising Girls.  As is typically the case now, many of the questions at the end of the class were about social media.  Social Media has become many teen, tween, and even younger girls’ primary method of communication—with girls and other boys.  One girl recently said that snapchat has become the more casual way to approach someone.  She literally said that texting was too intimate.  Wow.  The world has changed drastically from when a boy had to call and ask a girl’s parent if he could speak to their daughter.  It has changed…and continues to daily.  And, as we say in almost every Technology Tuesday, we need to keep up.  They need us to keep up.

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The Grunt and the Gurgle: with jeanniecunnion.com

Our friend and author of the book Parenting The Whole Hearted Child,  Jeannie Cunnion welcomed us onto her blog this week and we were able to share about communication with boys and girls. Read some of it here and head on over to her blog for the full article! 

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Understanding Tweens - Fast or Slow, Nobody Knows (Part 2)

Last week in Part 1, we talked about tweens and what they need from us as parents.

Here are some of the ways we talked about supporting our tweens:

  1. Study development.  We serve our kids well when we have a working understanding of what’s normal and what’s not....
  2. Tell stories.  One of my sons appears to be a late bloomer as well.  This isn’t surprising, as he carries my genetic ingredients...
  3. Create opportunity.  It’s vital that these developing young beings have a context to experience value, purpose and meaning...
  4. Keep talking.  Kids need us to begin and continue an ongoing dialogue about their growth...

Here are some resources for PARENTS to help with these suggestions: READ MORE

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