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Not "but", but "and"... (How "and" can empower Teen Girls) 

As a mom of a teenage daughter, you often find yourself in the role of confidante, cheerleader, and mentor, guiding your girls through the ups and downs of adolescence. It's a journey filled with challenges, triumphs, and moments of growth. One powerful tool that can help our teen girls navigate their fears and uncertainties is the simple word "and".


In the world of psychology and coaching, the concept of “reframing” is a valuable technique for shifting perceptions and empowering teens to overcome obstacles. By reframing their thoughts and fears using the word “and”, teens can transform their mindset from one of limitation to one of possibility.


Here's how it works: I often encounter teen clients who are grappling with fears and insecurities, whether it's speaking in front of their class, navigating social situations, or facing academic challenges. One of the exercises we do together is to identify their goal and their biggest fear related to that goal.


For example, a teen might express a desire to speak in front of their class but feel paralyzed by the fear of receiving negative comments from their peers. Using the traditional approach with the word "but", we might say, "I want to speak in front of my class, but I'm so afraid of bad comments."


However, when we reframe the statement using the word "and", the shift in perception is remarkable. Suddenly, the statement becomes, "I want to speak in front of my class, and I'm afraid of bad comments." This subtle change opens up a world of possibilities for our teen girls.


We then take a moment to reflect on how each version of the statement feels. More often than not, with the "and" statement, my teen clients experience a sense of empowerment and readiness to take on the challenge. They realize that their fear doesn't have to hold them back, “and” it can coexist with their desire to achieve their goals.


As a mom, you can encourage your teen daughters to embrace the power of "and" in their own lives. We can remind them that it's okay to feel fear or uncertainty, but it's also important to recognize that those feelings don't have to define their actions. With the right mindset and a willingness to embrace both their goals and their fears, our teen girls can accomplish incredible things.


So the next time your daughter is facing a daunting challenge, encourage her to reframe her thoughts with the simple word "and". Help her see that fear doesn't have to be a roadblock, but rather, it can be a stepping stone to growth and success.

Together, let's empower our teen girls to embrace all they can achieve.

Kindly, Andrea

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