One of the things I find hard, is to ask for help. I am strongly independent and always try to stand on my own two feet. Over the years, this has been a huge strength, particularly when I was raising my eldest son as a single mum. I have learned, though, that it is #okaytoaskforhelp when you need it. Rather than make you seem weak, it actually helps to get support and in my case, I find it stops me getting overwhelmed.
Being able to ask for help when we need it is an important life skill. Asking for help, no matter how big or small the issue might be, is often hard to do. It can be challenging whether you’re an adult or a child. Knowing that you’re in need of help can be hard to identify or admit because we’re often taught to be independent. Asking for help can feel uncomfortable and some people describe it as having to ‘swallow their pride’. It takes courage to reach out and say that you’re not managing, you’re unsure about something, or you just need a shoulder to cry on. Facing our fears about asking for help takes courage. But it is totally worth taking the risk.
I was reminded of this recently, when I was running a 3 hour #girlpowertribe workshop for the 8-11 year old girls I teach. I asked my friend, fellow parent and GC tribal sister, Colleen to support me as we were doing crafts AND using hot glue guns!! Best decision ever – I felt so supported to share the workshop and she had some really valuable insights to share afterwards.
One of the things she noticed, was the group dynamic between several of the girls. I was leading an activity and so didn’t catch it. One girl was singling out another, edging her out of the friendship group. Later the two girls were super friendly together. Collen and I were able discuss this “Mean Girl” behaviour and I have been able to adjust my programs as needed to support the group.
On a side note, I recently attended an awesome webinar by Amanda Stokes , author of Raising Strong daughters – Why some girls are so mean and what you can do about it. You can check her out here.
Our GirlPower Tribe workshops are an opportunity to engage the girls at a deeper level than is usually possible in the space of a regular dance class. I usually hold one a term on a weekend and it lasts for 3 hours. In that time, we engage in team building activities, craft dance and lots of discussion. You can check out our video dance project from September 2020 here.
In our recent March workshop, we talked about how princesses are portrayed in literature and movies, focusing on how this relates to “real girls”. In our discussions we explored the notion of beauty and touched on body image. We will be looking at this more at future work shops. We also crafted together to create some costume elements – hair falls and tassel belts. The kids were thrilled!
Working together creates ownership and develops a sense of tribe. This is important not only for our improvisational dance style which requires members to trust each other to lead/follow, but also to build a safe space for discussions.
So, what can you do to teach your daughter how to ask for help when she needs it, while still maintaining her independence?
Try one of these activities :
- List of Experts – Write five or ten “I Am” statements: “I am strong,” “I am good at basketball.” Next, find images online or in magazines that illustrate these statements and create a collage of words and pictures on a large piece of paper. Now think of your friends and family, people of all ages. What are they good at? Choose five people and write their names, with skills next to their name. This is your list of experts. When you need help, these are the people to ask. Don’t forget to pay it forward and offer help to your friends too.
- How to ask for help – Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. Don’t be embarrassed, and don’t worry about other people judging you. In your journal, on a new page write the heading “How to ask for Help”. Now, think about a problem you are facing. Write it down. Then write or draw what might happen if you don’t get help—or if you do. Decide exactly what the problem is and what help you need. Write – “Help I need” and list what you need. Think about who you can ask for help. Write the names of two people you trust and who will know how to help you. Think about what you’ll say when you ask for help. Write it down. Now, go and ask one of those people to help you with your problem. Remember you don’t have to take their advice, but it might help you find your own solution.
If you would like to find out more about the GirlPower Tribe Affirmation cards you can purchase them here or reach out and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org