A wellbeing event has given parents some tips on how to handle their daughters’ anxiety, friendships and perfectionism.
The Partnership for Jewish Schools (PaJeS) on Monday 23 May invited parents to an online Wellbeing & Me session titled “Understanding girls: managing anxiety, navigating friendships and striving for perfection”.
More than 550 parents heard from Dr Tara Porter, clinical psychologist and writer ask how different girls lives and experiences are today, compared to when they grew up.
She also asked them to think about why are rates of mental health challenges so high and what is so toxic about the environment that girls are growing up in today.
Dr Porter highlighted 3 main differences:
1. Technological changes related to social media.
2. A huge change in expectations of women with regard to education and within the workplace.
3. A global connectedness and subsequent global competition.
Dr Porter presented slides that encouraged the audience to think about the different systems that a young person exists within, such as family, friends, school, community and wider society.
Each of these can act as additional pressure on a young person and it is important to recognise where individual anxiety stems from.
Dr Porter suggested what parents can do to support their daughters through this journey.
She highlighted that the most important suggestion is to keep the relationship going and to find the time to listen and help the young person to reduce or cope with the anxiety, rather than try to fix or exacerbate the problem.
Dr Porter spoke to parents about the importance of active, empathic listening whilst allowing girls the time to talk about friendship issues rather than taking over and steering their friendships. She urged them to avoid giving advice and do not try to solve their problems.
Dr Porter answered questions about managing exam stress, peer pressure, being a ‘good enough’ parent, and where to draw the line between listening and advising.
Feedback from this event was extremely positive and further events are being planned.
Full recording of the event: https://www.pajes.org.uk/understanding_girls
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