Raising Girls

Fresh Face Friday - Kylie

I don’t know about you guys, but I get super excited for these interviews each week! This week, I’m introducing you all to Kylie. One thing I really admire about Kylie is how she carries herself with confidence. So, I thought I’d dig a little deeper and have her talk a bit about what helps her to stay true to herself.

Meet Kylie!

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(1) Tell everyone a little about yourself.

My name is Kylie and I am a sophomore in high school. I play soccer, run cross country and I coach and compete in swimming. I have two younger brothers and a younger sister - who I love to spend time with.

(2) In a world that tells us we are lacking in some way, how do you manage to be accepting of yourself?

I have had difficulties being accepting of myself, but I have found that sticking to my standards has made that so much easier! I have built myself a reputation that stands out because it’s clean and wholesome, and it’s a lot easier for me to accept myself because everybody knows who I am and most people know not to ask me to change.

(3) How do you cheer others on?

One thing I do to cheer others on is I love to send notes in the mail, or I’ll send a quick message by text or Instagram. I also love to give out compliments at school, and I find that complimenting others helps to feel more cheerful and good about myself.

(4) What is your advice to someone struggling with feeling not good enough?

My advice would be to lift up others. The times that I have been the most down on myself are the times that I kept to myself and decided that I wasn’t good enough to talk to people that I considered ‘popular.’ Now I find that talking to everybody, regardless of how popular I think they are, has helped me to feel better about myself and realize that I can be friends with lots of different people without changing who I am.

(5) Where do you find inspiration?

I love to find inspiration by looking up quotes. My favorite ones are often by inspirational speakers or from General Conference talks. I like to use quotes as goals, and when I have a goal in mind it really helps to lift my spirit and gives me the energy I need to keep myself going. One of my favorite quote/goals to live by is by Minor Myers Jr, “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.”

(6) You are pretty bold and speak your mind - where does that courage come from?

I believe in standing for truth and righteousness, and whether that is giving somebody a compliment, defending what I believe in, or upholding my standards, I feel like it is my responsibility to speak up for what I believe in because the best way to share the gospel of Jesus Christ is by living it.

(7) What are some ways you have FUN without compromising your standards?

First, I pick friends that I know won’t pressure me into doing things that would break my standards. When I am with those friends, I like to play sports and games. Also, I love hanging out with friends at church dances.

(8) What is the most important character trait you look for in a friend?

I look for friends that are supportive of me. I want someone who supports me during highs and lows, supports my standards, and supports how I choose to live my life.

(9) How do you pick yourself back up after a bad day?

After a bad day, I like to listen to music and read my Book of Mormon. I’ve found it is hard for me to remain angry while I read the Book of Mormon.

(10) Who do you turn to if you need a pep talk?

I turn to my mom when I need a pep talk because she knows me and she knows what I personally need to hear.

(11) What do you see as the biggest roadblock for you peers to be brave and have their ideas heard?

I would say it is probably a lack of self confidence. Some of them don’t believe that their ideas are good enough, or they believe somebody else’s idea is better so they just follow along even if they don’t agree.

(12) What do you wish adults knew about teens today?

Something I wish parents today understood is how harmful it is to let their children do whatever they want. Recently my class was watching an R rated movie in class. The day of the movie, I found out I was the only one who had not signed my permission form. It was shocking to see how many parents thought it was acceptable for their Sophomore to watch an R rated movie because content in that is harmful and something I do not want in my mind.

(13) Just for fun:

Mountains or Beach? Mountains

Favorite Treat? Strawberry Shortcake

Favorite Christmas Song? What Child Is This?

Favorite Holiday? Christmas

Favorite School Subject? Math

Favorite Family Tradition? We have pumpkin pancakes for breakfast every General Conference

Person you’d most like to have lunch with? Al Carraway

Are you guys as impressed with Kylie as I am? Her determination to stick to the standards she has set for herself is so inspiring to me.

Fresh Face Friday - Ashley

Back for the second edition of Fresh Face Friday and I can’t wait for you to meet Ashley. This lady knows a thing or two about girls and today’s youth. And, I mean, how darling is she and her little miniature versions?!

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(1) Tell everyone a little bit about yourself and your family.

I’m a Utah native, married to a Michigan man for the past 11 years. We currently live in the greater Detroit Metro area with two girls, ages 4 and 2 with another girl on the way in March. I love doing anything that exercises my creative abilities whether it’s crafting, photography, design, or DIY home improvement projects. I am off beat in ever sense of the phrase.

(2) What do you most look forward to raising three daughters?

Matching clothes, girls’ trips, and having them be good friends.

(3) How do you plan to develop their confidence?

I have a three pronged answer to this. First and foremost, is to be an example, which for me is really hard. I can’t expect my girls to be brave, to put themselves out there, to not feel insecure about who they are or what they look life if I can’t do it myself. And believe me, I’m not very kind to myself. My husband even tells me I am brutal. But, I’ve worked hard this year to be my own friend. I also make it a point to not talk down about myself, especially when my girls are around, or to complain about how I look. I’m sure one day they will absorb negative messages about what girls should be from the world, but they will not get it from me. It would be a dream if they can look at their mom and say ‘Hey, Mom likes herself, I can too.’

Second and third is a balance between words of affirmation and providing chances for my girls to be challenged - out of their comfort zone. Both are so important. Kids need to know that they are loved and loved as they are right now, and they need to know their strengths. I also think that giving our children opportunities to stretch and grow. They need to know their confidence doesn’t come from getting things right all the time. It’s okay to fail, to not be perfect and things worthwhile are things to work hard at - even if it takes a really long time.

(4) What role do you hope family will play in their lives? What about friends?

I hope they will discover that family and friends are the many branches of love and they will make my kids feel like they are not in this world alone. There are lots of people rooting for them.

(5) Do you have a family motto or mission statement? Why did you choose what you did?

We have a couple. “When we know better, we do better.” This came from my oldest feeling bad and saying sorry for things she didn’t know were wrong or wasn’t supposed to do. I didn’t want her to apologize since she didn’t know, so I took this quote from Maya Angelou. It’s been a good one we use frequently. The second one is “By small and simple things, great things are brought to pass.” It’s kind of similar to the first, in that it’s about improvement. Even just a little bit at a time, small things can lead to amazing things.

(6) What are your biggest fears as your girls get older?

When they learn the world can be mean and harsh; and that people will be mean and can hurt them.

(7) Anything you hope to pass on from your childhood/teen years?

I want them to have tenacity and drive. I had an early morning paper route at the age of 12. I woke up at 6:30 every morning to deliver papers. I saved money and budgeted for things that I wanted at a young age. It helped set good habits for the rest of my life.

(8) What is your biggest piece of advice for other girl parents?

Teach them to be kind.

(9) What would you like to see change in the way girls are treated for the next generation? Any ideas for accomplishing this?

I hope that we embrace girls the way they are and not what we (or society) expects them to be. My girls couldn’t be more opposite; one is super girly and the other is tomboyish and I love them both for it and don’t want either one to feel like they need to be anything other than themselves. I feel like we are getting better at this, but we need to be better at not judging other women for who they are or what decisions they make. We need to lift each other up.

(10) I firmly believe that the rising generations will change the world for good - moreso than any before. How do we support and encourage them to speak up and let them know their voices matter?

I think the best thing we can do is to listen to them and take them seriously. Both my husband and I work with the youth in our church and we are always amazed by the ideas and thoughts they have.

(11) Favorite ways to build connection with your girls?

Personal and family anecdotes. For me, I like hearing relatable stories and I feel that there is power in them. Also, to get down on their level to make eye contact and hug things out.

(12) Any favorite resources?

Know How Mom Tips on Instagram and A Friendly Affair Blog

(13) What do you hope your daughters learn from your example? From your husband?

Just to work hard and to be genuine and authentic.

(14) Fun Facts:

Favorite way to unwind? Bubble baths or skincare stuff

Books or Movies? Both

Mountains or Beach? Beach

Favorite holiday movie? It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas Vacation

What candy did you steal from your kids Halloween stash? All the Reese’s, Almond Joys and Kit Kats

Favorite Thanksgiving Pie? Apple a la mode…ALWAYS!

And now you all can love Ashley as much as I do! I have watched her in years past as she worked with the youth at church. She has a gift for relating to them and I think it is so fun watching her raise her own daughters. She’s wise, relatable, fun and beautiful.

Thanks Ashley!