American Heritage Girls: ‘As Part of the Body of Christ We Are Called to Faith Over Fear’
April 5, 2021
CINCINNATI, Ohio — April is stress awareness month, and for many adolescent girls, stress is something that they have found to be part of everyday life in 2021. “It is only ‘human’ to feel hopeless and helpless when events bigger than us take over every facet of our lives,” states Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of American Heritage Girls (AHG, http://www.americanheritagegirls.org). “Today’s teens are experiencing the effects of worry and its parent cause, fear, in unprecedented numbers.
“Fear is part of the human condition, but as part of the Body of Christ we are called to faith over fear. We are called to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God will never leave us or forsake us. My prayer at this time of anxiety and distress, is for each of us to dismiss fear and shine as a beacon of certainty that we serve a sovereign God who is the creator of the earth, the Prince of Peace, the Alpha and the Omega, and the Lord that provides (Jehovah Jireh).”
AHG shares with families a list of 8 stressors that girls face today:
- Diagnosed Anxiety. Studies show an estimated 32% of adolescents have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder—and the prevalence of these types of disorders is 38% higher for females.
- Worst Case Scenario Thinking. Does your daughter live in constant fear of the worst-case scenario? It can be difficult to navigate through the new and unknown in life. Anxiety this severe is not something to ignore. A trained professional can help.
- Fear of Illness. Fear trickles into all of our lives at some point. There are practical steps we can take to calm the fears of sickness in our kids. We can fortify their bodies with nutritious foods. We can practice healthy habits like handwashing and surface sanitizing.
- Panic Attacks. Has your daughter ever gotten overwhelmed by the stressors in her life? For some, moments of stress and anxiety manifest in a physical way. These are known commonly as panic attacks. Hyperventilating, dizziness, tightening in the chest—they are all scary symptoms of panic. If your child is experiencing panic attacks, you can ease the burden by being present in the moment.
- Worrying. Is your daughter a worrier? Is she paralyzed by fear of the unknown? Have her start a “worry journal” and keep it for 10 days. On Day 11, ask her to read the fears aloud and count how many came true.
- Scarcity Mindset. Kids today have grown up in a scary world. Terrorism, environmental struggle, health crises. Today’s world runs on fear. We tend to default to self-preservation, rather than trusting in God’s abundance. Hoarding time, resources, love—they’re all manifestations of a scarcity mindset.
- Isolation. Even though many of our kids are able to walk the halls of their schools again, the effects of such a lengthy isolation could linger. Look for ways to connect your daughter with members of her faith community.
- Transitioning Back to “Real Life.” The world, as we once knew it, is no more. We have transitioned to living in a “new normal.” Life is full of transitions that can throw us off our rocker, make us uncertain, and even cause us to fear what is next. Remind your child that God will be there through every transition of her life.
American Heritage Girls was founded by a group of parents wanting a faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters in 1995. American Heritage Girls across the nation and the globe participate in badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities, and outdoor experiences, all with an emphasis on Christian values and family involvement.
In addition to the biblically based parenting advice shared in the Raising Godly Girls blog and radio features that are heard on 770 radio stations, American Heritage Girls provides a community experience in a Troop setting. Girls benefit from Christ-centered friendships and mentors to assist them in becoming Godly girls.
Today there are Troops in all 50 states and in 15 countries around the world through the Trailblazer Program. A variety of Christian denominations are also represented as Charter Organizations for Troops. There are thousands of volunteer members across the country helping girls to grow in their faith, cultivate a heart for service, enjoy the great outdoors, and have more fun than they can imagine.
To schedule interviews with Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of American Heritage Girls (AHG, www.americanheritagegirls.org), contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Marjorie Pratt, 610.584.1096, ext. 107, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.