When your girls are upset with a situation at home, within the troop, or in the world, they’re going to want to talk about it. And it’s not a matter of if it happens, but when.
No matter your girls’ ages, they need a space where they feel comfortable and safe to have those conversations and to process what they’re feeling. For many troop leaders, it’s an honor—and a major responsibility—for your girls to put their trust in you, and that’s why it’s so important that you also feel comfortable mediating conflicts or challenging conversations.
“I believe the sharing process starts when you have set a positive rapport from the beginning,” says Trina Floyd of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. “The girls need to know that you are there for them, which means you need to tell them they can talk to you.”
With some advice from our volunteer experts, here’s how you can build up your confidence as you foster respectful conversations with your troop.
Remember, troop leader: It’s OK to admit that you don’t have all the answers or that you’re frustrated too. Your girls will respect your honesty and, in some instances, being the first to open up can encourage your girls to share their feelings too.
Ultimately, learning how to navigate difficult conversations will help your girls confidently take on future challenges. "Even though it might take time away from what you 'planned,’ it's what happens on the journey of learning!” says Dylan.
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