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6 Things Your Girls Won't Tell

Dr. Tim Jordan, author and expert on raising girls offers solid tips parents need to know.

On the surface, girls and young women appear to be doing quite well. Statistics show that females outnumber males by about 60 to 40 for both entering college and graduating. Young girls participate in competitive sports leagues just like their male counterparts, and are busy little bees with a myriad of activities throughout their childhoods.

But some statistics aren’t so optimistic. In a 2011 Dove study of over 1200 10-17 year olds, 72% of girls felt tremendous pressure to be beautiful. Another study revealed that 40-70% of middle school girls were dissatisfied with 2 or more parts of their bodies. Yet another study showed that 70% of girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, school performance, and relationships with friends and family.

And so under the surface, there is another side to girls that remains hidden and needs to be heard:

  • I feel the need to be perfect in every aspect of my life: friendships, grades, sports and activities, looks. Become aware of all the ways you pressure me.
  • My self-esteem is fine! Put me in safe, non-judgmental, accepting environments and my self-confidence will soar.
  • You are setting me up to fail in college: Micromanaging me leaves me weak and unable to handle the normal ups and downs of life; let me make mistakes, take risks, and overcome obstacles to earn grit and resiliency.
  • You are setting me up to be a miserable adult: Stop over-focusing on A’s, Ivy League Colleges, and making money and guide me to be driven by more intrinsic values like being of service, personal growth, and having strong relationships…and model this!
  • I hate playing the game of school! i.e. study only what’s on the test and padding my resume etc. Support me in learning for the love of learning so I can retain my motivation and creativity.
  • Hooking up still carries meaning for me: Teach me how to develop healthy, platonic, dating relationships, how to connect non-sexually with guys, and how to have clear, firm boundaries with partners.


We need to take these issues seriously, because ignoring them will cause our girls undue angst, stress, a lack of balance, and become a recipe for an unhappy life. Particularly during their transformative adolescent years, girls need more awareness, skills, understanding and support from the adults in their lives.

More Tip's by Dr. Tim Jordan

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