For many young girls, navigating the tricky -tween' years can be difficult. This is the time when friendship dynamics change, self-esteem issues begin to arise, and bullying rears its ugly head. It's a tough transition with so much happening, and sometimes they need a bit of guidance.
Girlwise is the new series of books from educator and best-selling author Sharon Witt, written especially for young girls aged 7-12 to help them through the good and bad times. Girlwise: A Guide to being YOU! explores the importance of girls being created as unique individuals of great value and worth. Topics covered include:
Discovering your own unique gifts and talents
How to develop a healthy Self-Esteem
Creating your own personal space
Feelings and how to cope with negative ones
How to get along better with others
The second book in the series, Girlwise: A guide to FRIENDS!, explores the importance of girls developing healthy friendships and how to deal with friendships issues as they arise. Topics covered include:
How to make new friends
Building strong and healthy friendships
How to help your friends when they're struggling
Helpful ways to deal with bullying
Working through conflict with friends
Key communication tips that work
Filled with activities, case studies and colourful illustrations, the Girlwise book series is a must-have guide for any young girl about to embark on this important stage of her life.
Sharon Witt has been immersed in teen world for over two decades in her role as a Secondary Educator, author and presenter to adolescents and their parents around Australia. She is a regular media commentator on parenting and educational issues and regularly appears on Television and radio including Melbourne's Light FM and Gold Coast Juice FM. Sharon is the author of the bestselling Teen Talk book series, with her parenting book Teen Talk- Parent Talk shortlisted for the Australian Christian Publishers awards in 2012. Sharon is passionate about equipping educators and parents in understanding key issues affecting our young people, and providing practical strategies for helping them make positive choices. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and two amazing teenagers.
Girlwise: A girl's guide to friends!
Girlwise: A guide to being you!
Author: Sharon Witt
RRP: $12.95 each
Question: Why was it important for you to write this book series?
Sharon Witt: For a few years now, I have been receiving emails from parents and requests at parenting seminars I have spoken at, to please write a series for the younger -tween' age girls. My previous series -Teen Talk' was really well received, and so it was important for me to also create a series that would hopefully impact and provide guidance to a younger demographic.
Question: What research was involved in the beginning of Girlwise?
Sharon Witt: I didn't need to do too much research, as being a teacher, I know a lot of the issues that young children are dealing with in their Primary School years. I did however, ask parents of tweens what the specific issues they felt their children needed help with, and so I took it from there. I also really enjoyed giving young girls the opportunity to contribute to the books. It was wonderful receiving their stories about friendship and family life.
Question: How do the books address the important topic of Bullying?
Sharon Witt: I give advice to girls about how to handle the complexities of friendships, and understanding that we are all different. As a part of this, I address the issue of bullying and how girls can best handle the situation if they do find themselves the target of a bully. I give them strategies to navigating this tricky issue, people they should seek assistance from and some suggested -conversation starters' if they are up to speaking to the bully.
Question: Why was it important for you to create a guide specifically for friends?
Sharon Witt: Of all the issues young girls face, friendship issues would by far be the most common that girls deal with. We often think that a lot of these issues raise their ugly head in adolescence, but the reality is- these tricky friendship complexities occur during the primary school years. When I speak with teachers of this age group, they tell me that friendship issues take up a lot of their time- helping girls navigate the tricky friendship problems that pop up.
Question: What types of activities will girls participate in in Girlwise? What's next for the series?
Sharon Witt: In the Girlwise books, I like to give girls a range of practical activities they can do both by themselves and with their friends. With our busy lives and online activities, it is nice for girls to have some simple, fun activities to enjoy. There is also room in the books for girls to write their own responses to a variety of topics covered.
Interview by Brooke Hunter