June Big Sister Scene

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 A Simple Solution to the Tough Questions

Written by Erica Brien, Enrollment & Matching Specialist

Being a Big Sister is a chance for women to positively influence and guide young girls through the challenging obstacles and uncertainties of adolescence. When given such a unique opportunity, however, women also face great responsibility.

In the enrollment process, many women ask, “What if my Little Sister has questions I can’t answer?” or “What if I can’t relate to my Little Sister’s experiences?” The truth is, although Little Sisters do ask Big Sisters questions with a multitude of potential responses and share experiences that Big Sisters may not be able to relate to, Big Sisters should not be nervous in anticipation of such a question or conversation. There is a simple solution and response: ask your Little Sister open-ended questions.

In most instances, asking your Little Sister nonrestrictive questions before sharing your own perspective is actually more beneficial for her, as it aids in her healthy development. Through open-ended questions, you offer your Little Sister numerous opportunities:

  • A chance to explore her own ideas, form her own thoughts, expand her personal narrative and determine what she sees as possible solutions to any given situation.
  • Encouragement to look at situations more objectively.
  • Motivation to put herself in someone else’s shoes.
  • Nonrestrictive questions give your Little Sister the opportunity to grow more confident in her own opinions, develop a higher self-esteem, and foster empathy for others.
  • The opportunity to stay connected to her voice and the confidence to believe in it.
  • In the future, this will help your Little Sister develop more authentic relationships, comfortably assert her needs, and allow her to form healthy boundaries within them.

Additionally, you benefit from asking open-ended questions to your Little Sister as well. Through sharing her own views with you, you are offered an inside look into your Little Sister’s life and culture. Your Little Sister may remind you of the thoughts you used to have as a young person, the characteristics of life you used to value, and may even inspire you to make positive changes in your present-day life. An enjoyable aspect of asking your Little Sister open-ended questions is the prospect of listening to an infinite number of potential responses.

So next time your Little Sister asks you a question you can’t answer or shares an experience you can’t relate to, remember that you don’t need to have an answer; your Little Sister already has the right response within herself. With your help, she’ll be better able to find it.

Pay it Forward – Do you have women in your life who would make great Big Sisters?

BS Elly Van Faasen and LS Aniah

Spread the message with the click of a button! If you are not already connected to Big Sister through Facebook please “Like” us or follow us on Twitter. There are a lot of great resources and posts that you can share.

Begin or continue the conversation! Talk with friends, family, and colleagues about the need for more women to inspire a girl in their community. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being present.

Share your story! Write about your experience as a Big Sister, your favorite match activity with your Little Sister, or how you supported a friend to become a Big Sister and send them to Nikki White at nwhite@bigsister.org.

Upcoming Events

Summer PicnicJohn Hancock Presents: Big Sister Association’s Summer Picnic!

Saturday, July 13


Camp Harbor View, Quincy, MA

RSVP: Katie Hayden at khayden@bigsister.org or 617.236.8366

photo 21Real Choices Strong Voices

Saturday, June 22

Real Choices Strong Voices is thrilled to announce our new topic, Dream Big!  You Don’t Need a Fairy Godmother; Just a Plan.  This enlightening and engaging workshop will help your Little Sister explore ways to articulate her hopes and dreams and practice strategies to reach a goal.

Please contact Holly Armstrong at harmstrong@bigsister.org to reserve your spot.


Posted on June 12, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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