Teaching My Girls To Become Tough CookiesWRITTEN BY Amber Sabathia
The sisterhood of Girl Scouts
As a mother of four, I am blessed with the opportunity to raise my boys as respectful young men and to raise my girls as strong young women. Over the years, I have come across several opportunities to help my children’s growth, including Girl Scouts.
I am a vast believer in what they have to offer our girls today. Girl Scouts is more than selling cookies and collecting badges. It has become a sisterhood of girls and women supporting and uplifting one another. I recently had a fundraiser at my home for the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey. When introducing Linda, the chair of the 2015 Women of Achievement Award, all the memories of why I was hosting this event came to me and I couldn’t hold back the tears. I was overwhelmed by the support I received from all the women there that night.
When I moved to the East Coast six years ago, I had to get accustomed to our new way of living. I had never driven in snow, never lived 15 minutes from the city that never sleeps, and never had to know my coffee order before I got to the front of the line… or I would be asked to step aside.
When we moved to Alpine, I arrived blindfolded, not knowing anyone in the neighborhood. CC and I were both born and raised in California so we had no family living near. There are a few women who I will forever remain grateful to her helping me find my way in Bergen County — from finding a pediatrician to the right schools for my children. Linda is one of them.
I have spoken openly about my oldest daughter’s journey and how, at the age of 4, she was anti-social, to say the least. I began emerging Jaden in every aspect of social stimulation — from the JCC Therapeutic Nursery to dance classes and taekwondo — to broaden her socially. When Linda approached me with Girl Scouts, I was unsure about bringing Jaden into what I thought would be her biggest challenge — a group at the most social state of “girl talk.”
Linda assured me that with the values being taught and the sisterhoods that are formed, Jaden would not feel left out and it would be a great place for her to start being social. She was right! Jaden was welcomed with open arms and all the girls showed nothing but love and acceptance for her. I can now confidently say her fellow scouts have become her sisters in scouting.
I urge any mother who is seeking a group that builds confidence, courage and character to look into Girl Scouts. They teach a girl power that shines through in leadership and caring for one another. I will forever be a part of the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey. We are teaching our girls they can accomplish whatever they dream to be. I have been with them for three years and now lead my own troop. I have begun teaching my girls the importance of giving back and caring for their community by volunteering, fundraising and donating.
They are learning to become leaders and will only grow to become strong and successful women. The bond the girls will form is priceless, knowing that they are taught the same values. My daughters’ troops consist of girls who I wish will all be friends growing up, as I know battling the hardships of those teenage years will be a bit easier with their sisters in scouting.
Three years have passed since I first signed Jaden up and we now have become a Girl Scouts family, with both of my daughters as scouts and mommy leading her troop of “Tough Cookies!”