What do 5th grade girls need?

Graduates of Be U Girls Club, 2013 (and now the Be U Leaders, 2014) pictured above: Top row: Grace Ginter (IC), Isabel Jones (Lincoln), Middle row: Emma Baran (Hawthorne), Mary Grace Messeemann (Edison), Megan Prodehl (Hawthorne), Nora Kirk (Field). Bottom row: Jacey Adams (Field), Ellie Casey (Hawthorne), Casserly Hyland (Hawthorne).

Graduates of Be U Girls Club, 2013 and Be U Leaders, 2014: Top row: Grace Ginter (IC), Isabel Jones (Lincoln), Middle row: Emma Baran (Hawthorne), Mary Grace Meessmann (Edison), Megan Prodoehl (Hawthorne), Nora Kirk (Field). Bottom row: Jacey Adams (Field), Ellie Casey (Hawthorne), Casserly Hyland (Hawthorne).

They need to know they are OK and not alone. They need to know they have adults who will support and understand them.  They need to know they are worthy and valuable, just as they are.

Venturing into the world of preadolescence can be scary and uncomfortable, but it can also be fun and exciting – having all these emotions exist simultaneously can be confusing.

To navigate these challenges girls require self awareness and a developing respect for who they are. They need to understand their worth and importance so they can take care of themselves and speak up for others.

They need to find the joy in being who they are so they feel less overwhelmed by the unattainable media images that tell them they aren’t enough.  

This is why Be U Girls Club was created.  So young girls would have a safe place to discuss what’s happening in their lives, so they could be heard and validated, and so they could recognize their own gifts and talents instead of striving to be something or somebody else.

Be U Girls Club also works closely with the parents so they can slowly create a more mature relationship with their daughters – a relationship where their daughter’s growth is recognized and honored, and where open and honest communication becomes the norm.

In November the first Be U Girls Club graduated.  The group wanted to keep learning and stay connected, so we created a continuing education program called Be U Leaders. The girls will continue to focus on self understanding and giving back.

Be U Girls Club, Spring 2014 begins in March, and the class is already half full.  If you are interested and you have a 5th grade daughter in Elmhurst, please contact us.  (Hawthorne and Immaculate Conception spots are already taken).

Be U Girls Club is a six session learning series for pre-adolescent children and their parents and it’s a part of the Be U: Raising Whole and Courageous Kids initiative. 

My husband Todd and I created Be U to bring more attention to the internal lives of children.  A child’s self understanding is what dictates their choices, relationships, overall well being.  We work with kids, parents, clubs, schools, and organizations to raise awareness around self understanding and why it’s the key to a more productive and peaceful existence.

Be U: Raising Whole and Courageous Kids and Be U Girls Club is a continuation of my books (The Self-Aware Parent 1&2) and Zen Parenting Radio, the weekly podcast that Todd and I host.  If you would like to follow our initiative, click here to add your email to our e-newsletter list or click here to “like” our Facebook page.

We have many ideas and exciting adventures ahead!  We are creating a learning series for boys and their parents, we are offering workshops and retreats throughout 2014, and we are bringing the critically acclaimed documentary Girl Rising to AMC Theaters in Lombard on January 21st.  We have a few tickets left, so click here to reserve your seats.

Click here for more information about Be U, click here for more information about Zen Parenting Radio, click here for more information about The Self-Aware Parent.  If you have any questions, email us at comments@zenparentingradio.com or click here.