Texas Children's Hospital "Girls Elevated" Event to empower teens

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Friday, April 8, 2016
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"Girls Elevated" event sponsored by Texas Children's Hospital helps to educate young women on mental health and healthy relationships

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Coming of age can be difficult for young girls, especially when the time comes to have "the talk" with mom and dad. But a yearly event coming up can help strengthen that bridge of communication between parents and their pre-teens, thus making the journey into the next stages of their lives a bit easier.

"You're kind of grossed out about everything. But as you get older, you mature" 12-year-old Kayla Smith told us.

She's facing many changes on the horizon. Her mother Melanie has been preparing for a while now.

"Not to be afraid to broach those conversations with my daughter with her in her development," Melanie said.

Both mother and daughter started attending the Texas Children's event, "Girls Elevated" a few years ago. It was structured to empower tweens and teens as they go through what could be a challenging time in their lives.

Kayla said "just don't feel scared to open up to your mom about your body changes."

While girls learn about puberty, social skills, self-esteem and social media safety and responsibility, parents or caregivers have the opportunity to learn and improve on the communication skills needed to approach their daughters about these sensitive topics.

"And to have conversations where she feels comfortable as well as we know that we are prepared for the stages of life to come," Melanie explained.

Parents and their daughters are separated from each other during the day into groups, to help ease them a bit into a more comfortable learning environment with their peers. Later on, they're reunited to communicate what they learned and how to use those skills moving forward in life.

Dr. Jennifer Dietrich said, "We want it to be a safe environment where they're learning about different ways that they can keep themselves safe, keep themselves informed, and learn about different ways in which the can learn about their bodies and keep their bodies healthy."

The Girls Elevated event will be held on April 30.

To learn more, go to this website.

Register for the event here.