GiRL Power 2013

The Tween Years

Michelle and daughter

Michelle and her daughter at the GiRL Power event.

As a Mom of a tween girl, I can tell you these years can be a challenge. I’m constantly on the lookout for articles and tips from other Moms about how to navigate these tumultuous years, which can be full of landmines even when your daughter is as grounded and kind as mine.

It can be tough to find time for the two of us where we have an opening to talk about the sensitive topics these years bring. That’s why I was excited to learn about the GiRL (Girls in Real Life) Power event, which was held last year in Plano. The event was what I had expected for my daughter — a day designed to uplift her self-esteem, learn about ways to stay healthy, and hear role models with sage advice on how to handle the tween years of life. What I did not expect was that I took away several key insights as well — especially from the keynote presenters. They delivered excellent presentations around achieving your dreams through hard work, encouraging all of us in attendance to never give up on our dreams.

michelle daughter

Michelle’s daughter holding Dana Vollmer’s gold medal at the GiRL Power event.

The day also offered a presentation just for the mothers, and addressed what to expect in the tween years and beyond. It was good to gain reassurance that the changes I have noticed in my daughter are normal. I got an invaluable glimpse into her likely future, soaking up positive tips to help her grow into a beautiful young lady and to reach her full potential.

The icing on the cake was the memorable day of bonding with someone who is growing up way too quickly right before my eyes. I also have a son, and the days spent with just my daughter and I are not as many as I’d like. I always enjoy spending one-on-one time with each of my children. The GiRL Power event was a good opportunity to share a day together while learning some very worthwhile life lessons.

GiRL Power is hosted by Texas Health Resources, in collaboration with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health. The next event is on Sunday, Nov. 17 at Southern Methodist University’s Hughes-Trigg Student Center and will feature Carly Patterson, Olympic gold medal gymnast, as the keynote speaker.

I would highly recommend it for Moms with daughters entering the teenage years. Heaven knows it is a wild ride at times, but totally worth it.

Michelle Vanderburg works for Texas Health Resources. She has a daughter in her tween years, and a son who is nine.

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