stories and lessons
Click on a link below to read and learn from the stories about other teenage daughters.
- Aline — More than a Survivor: A Journey from Rwanda to Arizona
- Rose — It’s Your Education, Stupid
- Seijah — The Elusive Beauty Standard
- Katherine — Comfort-Free Zone and Standing Tall in Her Passion
- Julia W. — Noticed for her Beauty
- Pooja — Feeling the Fear... Finding Her PASSION
- Elizabeth — Elizabeth Branches Out
- Allison — Feeling the Fear and Doing It Anyway
- Julia— The Real Charm of Julia’s Life
- Amanda— Amanda Learns To Use Her “Inside Voice”
know where you stand stories
Amanda lives in an affluent East Coast suburb and attends a high school that is competitive both academically and in sports. However, Amanda may be like other teen girls you know. She is applying to college, working part time and loves hanging out with her friends. She is not part of the sports group or the highest honors academic group. She has found her own niche among her close group of friends through art. It is important for her to let everyone know that not all teenage girls “hate” their moms.
Amanda seems to have it all together, great school, friends, her art, so what’s the big deal?
What’s Amanda’s Brave?
When I asked, Amanda told me her brave, “My mom had breast cancer and I really wanted to be brave for her so she wouldn’t feel that I was in a lot of pain.” Fear of the unknown and needing to be strong played a major role in Amanda’s life.
During this time Amanda was also navigating her first year of middle school. Most of her friends from elementary school were in other classes. She was having trouble making new friends. Middle school can be a time when most girls remain emotionally silent on the outside.
When asked how she was, her response was the same, “Everything is fine, great even.” On the inside though, Amanda felt, “Isolated.”
To say that this was a difficult time in Amanda’s life is an understatement. Everyday she would go to school and be brave and come home and be brave. As Amanda said, “It was hard because I really didn’t know what was going on.”
How did Amanda remain brave during this time?
Who was in her tribe? Her mom and then her friends.
When I asked her what helped her with her brave Amanda said, “My mom gave me a lot of support.” She was able to talk to her mom and it helped that her mom was honest with her.
“She would tell me what could happen but say it probably won’t and not to be scared.” What also really helped was when she was sad she would cry. Eventually this is what opened her up to the support of her friends. One day she couldn’t take the heaviness of it all. She ran into a friend of hers at school in the bathroom. She cried telling her friend about her mom and her friend cried along with her.
When I asked her how she felt after, “Relief!” It was out there now and she didn’t need to keep it all inside anymore.
So does Amanda have it all together? No, but her mom and friends, “her tribe”, are there to guide her along the way.
What Can Parent’s Learn from Amanda’s Story?
One way to help your teen daughters with everyday courage is to be available. Engage in conversation even after your daughter says, “Fine.” Let her know all the time, every day, that you support her. Share yourself with your daughter. Our own stories and fears allow your daughter to see that we are human, we do understand.
As Amanda told me, she knew her mom was there whenever she needed to talk. It wasn’t every day but when she needed her. Also, as we have been taught, honesty is the best policy. Amanda’s mom was completely honest with her.
Who is in your daughter’s tribe? Are you one of them?
Favorite Quote from Amanda
“Not all teen girls hate their moms!”