Be YOUnique Q&A for Mothers & Daughers

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Who is the programme for?

BeYOUunique is for teenage girls aged between 11-13 years old.  Here is a case study of a teenage girl who would benefit from the programme:

Chloe is a 12 year old girl in her first year at secondary school.  Since starting her new school she has felt pressure about her looks.  Chloe feels fat when she compares herself to the images she sees in the media and in comparison with her class mates.  She dislikes sports because she feels self conscious about wearing her gym kit.  Chloe is starting to worry about what she eats for fear she will get fat.  She takes ages to get ready for school in the morning, spending ages on her hair and applying make-up.  When a boy at school called her ‘pizza face’ she secretly bought foundation and concealer to camouflage her skin.  Her Mum doesn’t really allow her to wear make-up, but doesn’t understand the pressures she feels.  Chloe feels lost at school, as she isn’t really sure where she fits in amongst her peers.

Chloe’s Mum, Sarah is 40 years old.  She is becoming increasingly worried about her daughter and her obsession with her looks.  Even though Sarah has spoken to Chloe about the changes that will take place to her body in her teen years, Chloe obviously still feels very self conscious.  Chloe is trying to skip breakfast, and insisting on wearing make-up despite Sarah’s disapproval.  Chloe and Sarah are arguing more and more.  Sarah wants to reach out to Chloe to help her through this difficult time, but doesn’t know what to do for the best.

Will girls be expected to share their experiences?

The programme will be interactive – the girls will be encouraged to share their views and feelings in small groups, and we will create a safe environment in which this can happen.

Sharing experiences is a powerful way for the girls to not only learn about body image, but to realise they are not alone in their worries.

What kinds of activities will the girls be doing?

Here’s an example of one of the activities, called bursting the celebrity bubble:

The girls will be asked to find a photo from a magazine that represents what they think is the mainstream ideal of beauty.  We’ll discuss what made them pick the photo and get them to create a list of the elements that are required to conform to these ideals.  The girls will then be asked to think about how many of the ‘ideals’ they would conform to.

We’ll then reveal to them the secrets behind a photo shoot that produces these kinds of images – the various manipulations and tricks applied.

The girls will learn that what we aspire to in terms of the media’s idea of beauty is a complete lie and is the product of manipulation.  It takes a lot of people, computers and unrealistic lifestyle to maintain that type of image.  One that isn’t healthy or normal.

Can Mums come too?

This programme has been specifically developed for teenage girls.  We believe they will get the best out of the programme participating with other girls of the same age, who are experiencing similar issues.  This gives your daughter the freedom to express herself in a safe and friendly environment.

If you have any concerns about the content of the programme or wish to learn more about body image and how you can help your daughter, please speak to Judi or Lisa.

I’d really like my daughter to attend, but how do I encourage her to do so?

In our experience children can often be resistant to something new or unfamiliar to them. It is advisable to give them as much information about the course as possible and to reassure them that they won’t have to do anything they are not comfortable doing. They can come along and get involved as much or as little as they wish. Even though it is a workshop, it is not like school.

The programme will help your daughter feel good about herself.  If she is feeling under pressure to look or be a certain way, the programme provides a safe place to talk about these concerns.

Ask your daughter how it would feel to get rid of some of this pressure?  And, if you knew something that would help, would she be willing to give it a try?

Explain to her that it will address worries about fitting in, what other people think, wearing make-up or being something she is not comfortable with.

As experienced coaches, we have the ability to create a safe and fun environment in which your daughter can share her views, feelings and opinions without any fear of judgement.

What if my daughter is really resistant to coming?

Even though your daughter will never to be expected to do anything during the programme that she doesn’t want to do, we want her to feel comfortable with attending and happy to participate.

If your daughter has a great deal of resistance to participating in the programme, it’s unlikely that coaching is appropriate for her at the current time, and we would recommend that you do not force attendance.

What if my daughter comes along to the programme and doesn’t enjoy it?

We truly believe that this programme will be an educational and enjoyable experience for your daughter.  However, if she doesn’t enjoy the programme after having attended a minimum of three sessions, we will refund 50% of the programme cost.

Does my daughter need to attend all 8 weeks of the programme?

To get the full benefit of the programme, it is important that your child attends all 8 sessions.  However, if she is unable to attend for any reason, we will make available the course notes and any homework for the weeks that she has missed to allow her to catch-up.