Addressing the Needs of Older Girls

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Let these simple tips guide you when working with teenage girls: 

  • Think of yourself as a “guide on the side”—a partner, a coach, or a mentor, not a “leader.” 
  • Ask girls what rules they need for safety and what group agreements they need to be a good team. When girls take the lead in establishing group rules, they’re more likely to stick to them. 
  • Understand that girls need time to talk, unwind, and have fun together. 
  • Ask what they think and what they want to do. 
  • Encourage girls to speak their minds.  
  • Provide structure, but don’t micromanage.  
  • Give everyone a voice in the group—understanding that “speaking up” may look different for each girl. For some girls, it might mean sharing their ideas in front of the entire group; for others it could mean submitting a written response or contributing as part of a group. 
  • Treat girls like partners. 
  • Don’t repeat what’s said in the group to anyone outside of it (unless necessary for a girl’s safety). See “Report Concerns” to understand the guard rails.  

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