Ten Ways to Create Hardiness Zones in Your Own Communities
1) Listen to Girls — Girls are the best people to tell you what girls need. Listening means not assuming you know all the answers or that your way is the right way. Pay close attention to what girls are saying and ask them to elaborate on their thoughts and feelings.
2) Remind Yourself There is No Typical Girl — In spite of what the media shows us every day, girls and women come in all shapes and sizes, from diverse family backgrounds and social situations, and have different needs and interests. Value these differences and encourage girls to draw on their experiences to teach one another.
3) Teach Girls (and Boys) to Be Critical Consumers of Media — Teach girls to question the narrow images (girls as sexy, diva, boy-crazy shoppers) they see on TV, in the movies, on-line, in toy stores, the mall, and in magazines. Offer them examples of real people who are not constrained by stereotypes.
4) Stop Worrying About Your Looks — Girls learn about womanhood by watching and listening to the women in their lives. When you make negative comments about your body, you’re teaching girls that women judge themselves and other women on their looks. Girls will learn to love their bodies if they see women doing the same.
5) Do Your Own Work — Before “helping” girls, women first need to work on our own stuff. We can’t help girls practice healthy conflict resolution, teach them to stand up to bullies, or expect them to create healthy relationships, if we can’t do these things ourselves.