Self-awareness

1-Minute Read: Tips for Getting Girls “Emotionally” Ready for School

1 Minute Read Tips for Getting Girls Emotionally Ready for SchoolIt’s that time again! Depending on where you live, the new school year may have just begun or it will be soon. Help your daughter feel ready for school – emotionally – so she can start the year with a sense of confidence and self-awareness.

7 Tips for Getting Girls “Emotionally” Ready for School

1. Ask her how she feels about school starting. Remember that open-ended questions get longer answers.

2. Listen to her. No really, LISTEN to what she says.

•Give it a few minutes before you respond… or don’t respond (that day).
•You will likely need time to process her response.
•It is your job to weed through the “important” answers from the “unimportant” ones.
•Part of what is so helpful to a girl is to hear herself verbalize her feelings.
•Remember, ultimately it will be her job to understand herself, her emotions and her choices.

3. Ask another open-ended question such as “Is there anything that feels scary or yucky about going back to school?” Depending on her age, you get the idea. Keep probing – gently.

4. Validate her feelings. This is VERY, VERY important. Her feelings are never wrong. They just are!

5. Don’t criticize, laugh or minimize her feelings (even if they seem silly to you) as they are likely pretty important to her. If she feels mocked, she will make a mental note to not share with you anymore. You don’t want this to happen.

6. Ask her if there is anything you can do to help her. She might have a suggestion such as being able to go and visit the school before it starts (especially if she is going to a new school). As girls move to middle school and high school, many can feel intimidated by the size of the school and being with so many upper classmates.

7. Keep the conversation going. Circle back to some of the above after a few days to see if anything new has come to her after she’s had an opportunity to think about your questions.

If you hear anything that you find concerning, please feel free to reach out to me. I can help to validate whether or not the issue needs something other than a loving parent’s support.

Whether this is a happy time for you or a sad one, I wish you well on this year’s school journey.

 


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Feelings are NOT Facts!

1 minute read - feelings are not factsA common mistake I see people make is that they assume their feelings are facts. Yet feelings change throughout a day and certainly throughout a lifetime.

For example, if you are feeling particularly sad, do not assume that you are necessarily depressed or that you will be sad forever. However, if this feeling of sadness has been around for a while you will likely need some professional help to assess what you are dealing with and how to feel better.

Whether your emotion is anger, frustration, disgust, anxiety or even happiness — do not get overly attached to that emotion. It will change. It is NOT you. It is an emotion you are experiencing…for a reason. Get curious about it.

Ask yourself:

  • Why am I feeling this way?
  • What is this emotion telling me?
  • Is there something I need to do different?

The goal is to understand your emotions and the message they are sending you. You do not want your emotions to be the boss of you. You want to be the boss – empowered!

This happens when you learn how to:

  • Accept your emotions without judgment (mindfulness)
  • Manage your emotions in a positive way

Of course, this takes practice. It is also a process which I teach women and girls as part of living life with integrity and self-awareness.

Please contact me at michelle @ girlsstandstrong.com or 703-505-2413 when you are ready to take this step.

Remember…Your feelings are NOT facts. They are merely pointing you in the direction where you may need to do some personal growth work.

Wishing you well on you journey!

 


Michelle Kelley 10.14 c
Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

What keeps us from asking for the help we desperately need?

Happy women in circle Most of us know these scenarios all too well: Someone needs extra help at work on a big project and the deadline is coming up quick; the kids forgot to remind you about the school bake sale they signed up for, and it’s tomorrow; your husband doesn’t seem to mind the dust bunnies on the floor or the piled up laundry, until he needs a clean and ironed shirt in the morning; and the dog is waiting by the door – and whining – again.

What is wrong here?

I’m the first to admit it: I struggle with asking for help or just saying no.  Many women do. I bet you’re one of them! But why is this?  Is there something different in our DNA that compels us to accept more and more responsibility?  Or are we a product of a generation gone by when women were expected to do everything – with a smile on their face?

We’re everything to everyone.  But what about us?  Have we forgotten ourselves?  Aren’t we important, too?  Remember the old saying “If momma ain’t happy, no one is”?

What keeps us from asking for the help we desperately need?  These are what some of my clients say:

  • What’s the use, nothing changes.
  • It’s easier for me to do it rather than listen to the excuses.
  • It’s my responsibility to make everything work.
  • Everyone is busy, so why am I special?

Sound familiar?  So what should you do?

  • This is a complex situation which did not arise overnight and there’s not an easy solution.  However, I am a big believer in developing self-awareness and then starting the conversation.  Be sure, the conversation won’t end anytime soon, nor should it.  Let me explain.
  • Some of us get so busy we don’t stop to ask ourselves why we are doing so much.  To be honest, if we have too much on our plate, we may not even recognize it!  If we don’t notice, why would anyone else notice?
  • Become aware of why you over-pack your schedule. Why do you think that you should always have the time? Why do you believe that it’s your fault if things don’t run smoothly?  Is it because it’s what you saw your mother do?  Is it because you can’t say “no”? Is it because you think it is expected of you?  Are you trying to prove you can do it all?  Why?
  • Then ask yourself if your reasons – or excuses – are real or perceived.
  • You matter! Validate your own needs and know that you have a right to ask for help.  This is where the conversation comes in.  Talk about how you feel with your family and co-workers, ask for their help and accept it when it’s offered.  Start a support group for overwhelmed women… well, okay, I know everyone is too busy and stressed to attend, but you get the picture.

 

It is so important to start with yourself and assess whether your work and personal responsibilities, as well as your time and energy, are balanced enough.  Chances are they’re not (which is why you’re reading this article).

Please reach out to me for assistance in asserting your voice.  You may contact me via email or phone 703-505-2413 to arrange an appointment.


Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

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Testimonials

I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I left your office so inspired today.
...
AnnaMay
To say Michelle changed our lives would not be an exaggeration. She was very empathetic and non-judgmental... She didn't make our daughter feel badly... She didn't make my husband and myself feel like incompetent parents.
...
Linda
I definitely owe my newfound confidence to Michelle. Without her, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to come out of my horrible situation as such a better version of myself.
...
Grace
People don't understand Michelle doesn’t just offer advice… which they seem to be afraid of hearing. I convey the message that the decisions you make are ultimately your own but Michelle will help you find clarity and sort through emotions.
...
Chris
We felt comfortable knowing that Michelle would be the kind of counselor that would help our daughter see the good in herself, but also question some of her choices and actions.
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Patricia
You have brought back the communication ability that I thought that I lost. You helped her understand what we were feeling and she is such a better person for seeing you.
...
Maggie
Michelle, you are so right about [my daughter] and how she thrives off of feelings of accomplishment. All seems to be good now. She amazes me every day with the way she is learning to handle tough situations.
...
Cynthia
With Michelle’s guidance, I was able to accomplish in approximately 8 months what I hadn’t been able to over the past 15 years.
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Elizabeth
I am forever grateful for Michelle's help.
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Anne
Thank you, Michelle, for giving me my voice and a new lease on life.
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Nancy
Retired Arlington County Teacher
She helped me focus my attention toward problem-solving issues.
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Laura Clancy, Owner
MuffinToppled® Fitness Coaching
Michelle is the best life coach I ever had.
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Marina
Michelle is an excellent listener and her insights and advice were always right on target.
...
Ann
(mother of a teen girl)
She helped me in so many ways!
...
Kelly
Michelle Kelly saved my life. What more can I say?
...
Stephanie W.

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