According to the World Health Organization, adolescence is “the period in human growth and development that occurs after childhood and before adulthood, from ages 10 to 19. It represents one of the critical transitions in the life span and is characterized by a tremendous pace in growth and change that is second only to that of infancy.”
Few transitions in life present asmany changes and challenges as early adolescence, when our time as children is ending as we begin to take our first steps toward becoming mature adults. Between the ages of 10 and 12, girls experience incredible transformation, including physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural.
It’s an exciting time, and yet one that is also fraught with challenges to girls mental health, namely confidence, bullying behaviour, eating and body image issues and attrition from sports.
G Day exists to support parents and other caregivers and educators to support girls in developing emotional resilience grounded in a powerful sense of belonging. This resilience in turn helps them to maintain positive self esteem in the face of a culture that bombards them with unrealistic and unhealthy media messages, images and expectations.
64% of grade 6 girls say they lack confidence, which drops to 86% by grade 10
50% of girls in grade 6 say they are on a diet
90% of girls say they feel pressure to be thin
Over 50% of girls say they wish they were someone else
25% of grade 6 girls say they feel depressed at least once a week.By grade 10 girls are three times more likely than boys to be depressed
Depression in girls typically stems from “low self-esteem, negative body image, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and stress.”
During this critical time, girls face an increased potential for both positive and negative outcomes, creating an important opportunity for interaction and experiences to foster positive self-esteem, healthy growth and emotional development. Same-gender activities have been shown to be extremely beneficial to girls at this age, providing them with a container of safety and acceptance that in turn allows them to freely express themselves without fear of judgement.
By attending and/or supporting G Day events, we can join together to support girls, welcome them into adolescence and make a difference in their lives.