When you hear me speak about empowering teens, it isn’t about making them bossy or tough.
I don’t expect girls to turn into young adults who think they’re better than everyone else.
I don’t expect empowered girls to feed into other people’s meanness, to tear others down or lower themselves in order to feel bigger and better.
I most certainly don’t equate empowerment with those qualities.
What I DO profess empowered girls to be is courageous and vulnerable, in the sense that they unequivocally are true to themselves - especially in a world where social media tries to persuade girls to look and act a certain way - we want to defy those unhealthy messages and tell girls to unfollow those accounts.
I want empowered girls to know the true meaning of self-worth, to hang out with other like-minded girls and friends who appreciate them for who they are.
I want empowered girls to learn that courage and vulnerability means leaving your fear at the door in order to create those solid, meaningful relationships in life that will undeniably make you the happiest.
I want empowered girls to learn that finding their peaceful center means that they need to trust themselves more than trusting others first.
I want empowered girls to be able to overcome insecurity because insecure girls tend to be the followers of the world and learn self-loathing behaviors, even as young as 9 yrs old.
I want empowered girls to know that low self-esteem often leads to going down paths that are dangerous, where it becomes hard to take ownership or accountability for their actions.
I want empowered girls to strive to be the best version of themselves, learn to see the beauty and uniqueness of their own personalities and bodies and aren’t afraid to recognize flaws (because we all have them).
I want empowered girls to learn how to ask for help and speak up even when they’re afraid, and know it’s ok to feel vulnerable. Being vulnerable during adversity means understanding the importance of taking care of oneself and realizing that feeling safe is taking one's own mental health seriously.
I want empowered girls to learn to choose courage over fear. Being courageous means changing bad behaviors because old habits aren’t self-serving and don’t promote growth, overall health and well-being.
I want empowered girls to choose kindness and offer to help those who need it, but first and foremost, empowered girls need to be kind to themselves.
Empowering teens is communicating to them how truly capable they are, even when they’re overcome with exhaustion and stress, fear and unworthiness.