Help Boost Your T(w)een Girl’s Healthy Relationships

tween girls

While we don’t yet know what the long-term consequences will be for our tweens and teens who lived through Covid-19 during some of the most formative years of their lives, we do know that the experience was super challenging for so many of them.

Even before the pandemic, rates of anxiety and depression among adolescents were rising, and according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, girls are twice as likely as boys to develop any kind of mood disorder.

The forced isolation of the pandemic only made it harder for so many of our teenagers to have normal and healthy interactions with their friends and classmates. For a lot of them, social media became the only place to connect with their peers.

The Child Mind Institute points out that “there are key differences to socializing online. Teens miss out more on things like body language and facial expressions. This can lead to more misunderstandings and hurt feelings. It can also make talking in person feel more intimidating. In real life you can’t spend time crafting the perfect response. You can’t make sure you look exactly the way you want to look. If you have a disagreement, you need to know how to respond in real time.”

If you’re feeling like your tween or teen daughter could use a boost with ways to connect more easily and get along with their peers, consider looking into a virtual camp experience put on by the Valley-based organization, I Am Teen Strong.

Their October event on Saturday, Oct. 22nd is called “I Am Strong” and is geared for adolescent girls in grades 6th through 12th. Through interactive activities, girls will explore what healthy relationships are, and will learn how to communicate and express emotions in socially appropriate ways. They will discover how to identify sources of personal strength and how to create healthy boundaries in their relationships. Group conversations will assist them in recognizing both green and red flags in their relationships.

A minimum of one art activity is part of the two-hour session, and a camp kit that gets mailed to each participant is specific to the day’s theme and will include things like construction paper, colored pencils, worksheets, glue sticks, etc.

All of the camp’s activities have been designed around the appropriate age group, with separate sessions for 6th to 8th grade girls and for 9th to 12th grade girls. The sessions are facilitated by Caitlin Alfonso, a Licensed Master Social Worker based in Mesa, and Sherry Eklund, the founder of Teen Strong, LLC and

When our teens don’t get enough practice relating to people in real life because they are spending most of their time texting and commenting on social media, it’s important to help them get back on track so that they grow into adults who can easily engage with others using healthy communication skills.

*Register for this camp by September 22nd at