5 Words to Never Say to a Girl in STEM

5 wordsDon’t be hard on yourself.

Us girls are hard on ourselves. The worst thing you can say to a girl taking classes in STEM  (science, technology, engineering, and math) and who is already worried about her grades is “don’t be hard on yourself”.

She is worried about her GPA, she will be critical of herself, and those 5 words are not helpful.

What is helpful though are these 3 words: Give yourself space.  I hope you tell your daughters these words because it resonated with me as a student.  Those 3 words are liberating.

Give yourself space to make mistakes.

Give yourself space to make a B.

Give yourself space to learn, to take on challenges, to grow.

I tell myself those 3 words everyday even as a mom. When I think, “Am I giving them enough activities? Are they in front of the TV too much? Am I a good mom?” I come back to those 3 words and I give myself some space to learn.

We are all here to learn – we don’t know everything. And today I want you to take away those 3 words and tell it to your daughters and to yourself.

I’m talking to those girls who are making A’s and are worried about making a B or a C. Those girls who have a certain pride that can’t make anything less than an A. I know there are some girls out there like that and moms who have daughters like that.

It’s OK to not make an A.

It’s OK to give yourself space.

We are the hardest on ourselves – we really are, but we don’t need anyone else to tell us that. Today is about those girls going through the tough subjects in school and who are already critical of themselves. Tell them that it’s going to be OK.

Give yourself room to grow.

(I posted a video on You Tube here if you and your STEM daughter want to watch together.)

Categories: lovely conversations, thoughts of a girl engineer | Tags: , , |

2 Comments

  • Janyre Tromp | May 13, 2016 | Reply

    This one brought tears to my eyes. My girl and I have this conversation all the time about HER work, but I don’t do a good job of giving myself space. In fact I was feeling guilty today because I couldn’t make one of her activities at school. Thank you for the reminder that I can give myself space.


    • Tracy | May 13, 2016 | Reply

      Thank you for the comment Janyre. These posts are the hardest for me to do but I’m so glad that it resonated with you! Thank you for all your support!


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