Program to help moms and daughters navigate adolescence
By Jane Donahue For The Sun January 28, 2013 3:22PM
At A Glance
Tickets for Happy to Be Me! are $50 per person, with proceeds going to support Robert Crown Center’s mission. The celebration lunch, with guest speaker, boutique shopping and raffles will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 2 at Drury Lane Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace. Registration is available at www.robertcrown.org/events.php
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:31AM
Come for the luncheon and leave with so much more.
That’s what Beth Peterson says is in store for moms and daughters who attend Happy to be Me!, an afternoon celebration Saturday at Drury Lane Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace.
“I think it’s a great event and the programming is just wonderful,” says Peterson, of Naperville, who is on the event’s planning committee.
“This is a great opportunity to start a dialogue and get information to girls about body image in a positive way.”
Sponsored by the Robert Crown Center for Health Education, Happy to be Me! is designed to develop self-esteem and a positive image.
The event, for girls ages 10 to 14 and the important women in their lives, includes a luncheon, boutique shopping and a variety of raffle items and prizes.
“We know that girls’ self-esteem and confidence declines significantly as they move through adolescence,” says Kathleen Burke of the Robert Crown Center.
“We wanted to provide families with a way to get girls talking about the pressures they feel, and the support they need from adults in their lives.”
Body image expert Leslie Goldman, author of “Locker Room Diaries: The Naked Truth about Women, Body Imaging and Re-imagining the ‘Perfect’ Body,” is the guest speaker.
“If we can instill a sense of confidence in girls at a young age, they are going to grow up to be more confident, self assured young women,” Goldman says.
Goldman will share tips that are beneficial for women of all ages, and provide activities that moms and girls can do together at home.
“The more kinds of activities moms and daughters do like this, the stronger and healthier the dialogue is going to become,” she says. “Hopefully our mindsets will follow suit.”
Dr. John Levitt, clinical director of the eating disorders and self injury programs at Linden Oaks at Edward, says events like Happy to Be Me! are important because a child’s “self concept — sense of being worthwhile and competent — is probably the most important gift” parents can help them develop.
“We can’t guarantee they are going to be economically successful, but we can help them try to be personally successful, and feel that sense that they can go out and handle what’s in front of them,” Levitt said.
Parents, and moms especially, are role models for their daughters.
“When I talk to parents, I try to encourage them to pay attention not just to what they say to the girls, but how they behave otherwise,” Levitt says. “Parents are role models, and they (children) pay more attention to what you do than to what you say. It’s very important to treat yourself respectfully, treat each other respectfully, and demonstrate the things you want your child to learn.”
Peterson says Happy to be Me! will provide moms with the tools they need to “navigate through” the adolescent years.
“The more information they have to help their daughters figure out who they are, the better,” Peterson says.
“It’s a great day out for moms and daughters to enjoy time with each other; it’s a special event where you can do some shopping, engage in activities, and listen to a well-respected speaker who has a great message to share. In addition to learning and getting some great information, they are going to have a lot of fun.”