Lindsay Sealey is a passionate girl advocate. She has worked in curriculum development, consulting and special education for more than 15 years and she is the founder and CEO of Bold New Girls, a coaching company for girls and young women and their parents, teachers and caretakers.
With new and complicated parenting challenges like online bullying facing today’s families, Lindsay’s services are needed more than ever. This is why she decided to write Growing Strong Girls: Practical Tools to Cultivate Connection in the Preteen Years, a guidebook for parents, teachers and other supporters of girls who want to cultivate connection but don’t know how.
For Lindsay, the book was a necessary project. “I’m in the trenches with girls and I don’t go a day without hearing about something that is stressing them out,” she says. “I wrote the book to help them.”
Lindsay doesn’t blame parents, and sympathizes with them because our modern, digital age affects all our kids. “I have a lot of parents that seem desperate. They were trying a lot of things, but they felt they were losing their daughters. The book is meant to offer parents the support and encouragement they need along with some creative ideas they hadn’t thought of.”
Though she knew she had to write the book, she also knew it wouldn’t be easy. “The most difficult parts for me in writing my book were the getting started and finishing—the beginning and the end,” she says. “It was hard to get going because I had to work through my own uncertainties, self-doubt, and fears; hard to let go because I am continuously reading and learning so I kept having new ideas. There came a point, though, where I had to say ‘good enough’ and let go—something I teach girls but realized was hard for me to do myself!”
Lindsay’s publishing experience wasn’t without its challenges—many of them before the words even made it to the page. “Before we began, I didn’t feel like an expert… I thought, ‘Who am I to write a book?’” Lindsay isn’t alone; many authors share the same thoughts. In fact, they are often just as qualified as the experts they look up to—and this is what Lindsay realized. “I spend seven hours a day with girls… I’m with them and I’m really hearing them.”
LifeTree’s hybrid publishing model helped Lindsay ease her way into becoming an author. “I really like the supported experience,” she tells us. “The best part was working together, feeling supported, and having people to hold my vision up for me when I got lost in the details and the writing process… I don’t think anything will replace that feeling of, when I’m stuck, someone holding my hand.”
Hybrid publishing also gave Lindsay the creative control she wanted. “I loved the idea of creative collaborations—and being part of the book’s creation, from the actual writing to the designing of the book cover. I wanted to work with people who would honour my vision for the book. A second book is inevitable.”
Now that the book is in stores, Lindsay will also be sharing her message through her speaking career, something which her book will enable her to expand. “I love that within an hour you can change someone’s perspective on how they view their daughter. That’s transformative.”
Lindsay is all about transformation, both in herself and in the lives of the girls she works with. So what is it she’s hoping those girls will take away from her book? “To work every day at being your authentic self. They’re not spending enough time on themselves. They’re not able to figure out what makes them unique and what makes them different.”
But it’s not just up to the girls, and Lindsay encourages all of us to become “parents” in our own ways. “I hope we can all see it as a shared responsibility. Teachers are relied on a bit too much. The teacher plays a part, and parents play a part, and coaches, and siblings, and aunts and uncles. If you look at it as a holistic experience with the whole community contributing, you increase your chances of growing a strong girl. And strong girls benefit everyone.”
Growing Strong Girls is in stores now.
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