Acclaimed expert helps students, parents understand youthful social pressures

DSC_9729Bestselling author Rosalind Wiseman didn’t arrive at Greenhills with all the answers, as she was quick to reassure separate audiences of students and parents April 17 and 18. 

What she did have was years of experience and a willingness to listen and share. Wiseman, an internationally recognized expert and educator specializing in helping young people navigate the pitfalls of growing up, wrote Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World, the book that inspired Tina Fey’s movie “Mean Girls.”

Wiseman also founded “Cultures of Dignity,” an organization that works with communities to shift the way we think about young people’s physical and emotional wellbeing. In her New York Times bestselling books – which beside Queen Bees and Wannabes also include Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World – she explores the friendships and social hierarchies of boys and girls.

She spoke to middle and upper school students in separate, tailored programs during the school day Tuesday and Wednesday, and to adults from the Greenhills community and beyond at an evening program and book-signing in the Campbell Center for the Performing Arts. (View her PowerPoint presentation for parents here.)

“The parents loved her,” said Julia de la Torre, the head of the upper school at Greenhills who organized Wiseman’s visit. “They said she was knowledgeable, relatable, and one of the best speakers we’ve ever had at Greenhills.”

At all of her talks, Wiseman discussed the hidden workings of boys’ and girls’ friendships and shared advice for young people and parents on how to navigate common, though complex, issues such as bullying, social media, and other forms of potential conflict. She also explained to parents why teens can be reluctant to ask for help.

More information about “Cultures of Dignity,” the organization Wiseman founded, is available here. 

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