Featured Female: Kirsten Krohn
47 years old
Westchester County, NY
Commercial On-camera and Voiceover actress
4 sons at ages (18) (15) (14) (11)
Our mission at the Girls Leadership League is to contribute to more confident and sparkly girls ….What advice would your big girl self-give your teen/tween self about confidence?
I think the greatest piece of advice I could give my teen self about confidence would be to trust that everyone has limitations and insecurities. Even the kids you always thought were the most successful or popular or attractive.
In my classes, we teach young girls to create a Friendship Recipe of traits they are looking for in a true friend …What characteristics would be in your friendship recipe?
I was very fortunate and had many close friendships starting in grade school and through college– most of which I still have! For me, the most important ingredients for a long lasting relationship are to be kind, trustworthy and open.
We believe strong family values and consistency are important in creating confident kids …What was one of your favorite family traditions from your childhood? What new traditions have you started with your own family (if applicable)?
When I was growing up, schedules were much simpler! My family would host my grandmother every weekend and she was an integral part of our lives. Current sports, activity and overall social programming for youth does not leave much room for weekly family get togethers, but my husband and I have tried to ensure we see extended family (grandparents, cousins, etc) at least every month! Also, our boys play many sports and we do try to have them all support one another on the sidelines.
We teach our girls the importance of accepting oneself even when you don’t feel so sparkly …How do you respond when you receive a compliment? Tell us about this.
When I receive a compliment I am always grateful. Sometimes my initial reaction is to question the person (really?? You like these shoes?? I’m so glad – I wasn’t sure about them… or, you like this haircut? Phew!)…but for the most part, if the compliment pertains to my work or my looks, I simply say thanks. I have worked hard to be successful in my career and maintain a healthy lifestyle and I think it’s important to acknowledge that for yourself and own it. I am not naturally petite so if someone comments on my fitness or body shape, I am happy to disclose that I have worked hard to maintain good habits and certain discipline.
We believe pursuing a passion is a great way to build confidence for girls …If you had free time to pursue a “passion project” what would it be? (i.e. something outside your regular work and leisure activities. For example, learning to knit or building a piece of furniture)
I am incredibly fortunate that my professional life IS my passion. I do have other hobbies that I enjoy such as hiking, pottery and travel that I pursue whenever I can. Some of the most surprising hikes have been in my local area and I try (with a TON of resistance!) to get my boys to join me. I like being outside and try to instill that same appreciation in my family – not always easy!
An important skill we teach our girls is how to identify how she feels about a situation and ask for what she needs to make it better …How good are you at communicating what you feel and asking for what you need with others?
Communicating has always been my strong suit – but confrontation is NOT. I have discovered that asking questions ( Is everything ok? Have I insulted you? Were your feelings hurt?) and potentially hearing that I am responsible for someone’s displeasure is a much more productive way to interact. Just punishing or avoiding or defending often leaves the issues unresolved. This idea circles back to being open – which doesn’t have to mean vulnerable – just open. Open to others’ feelings, open to trying new things, open to adjusting a habit or behavior. I have found that great positive can come from learning something unflattering or difficult about yourself.
Social Media is now a fact of life …Social Media … Love it or Love Hating It? What do you do to help balance your digital life and you’re your “real life”? Any tips to share?
Social media is tricky. I am in the communications and entertainment business so I do appreciate what an amazing tool it can be. Unfortunately, It has also been a profound time waster! We are constantly monitoring our kids and the excessive time they spend watching inane videos or anxiously feeling they need to respond immediately to a group chat. The portable social network can be a very slippery slope and I don’t’ think we even know yet the ramifications to our youth. It has completely eliminated time spent daydreaming and idea forming. Kids don’t space out with their thoughts anymore…they space out watching other people’s thoughts. I really feel it will be detrimental to an entire generation of creativity…
When you look out into the world, who do you see as great role models for girls?
Some of the best female role models I know are those women who are always struggling to balance it all – whether they are in your community or celebrities – and do so with grace and kindness.
We teach girls to embrace making mistakes …Can you think of a mistake that you made that led to great things – an important learning or a new direction?
I have made and will continue to make many mistakes. Most especially as a Mom. The more vulnerable I am to understanding what I did and how I can learn from it, the better. That said, some mistakes are irreparable and we need to mourn or recover from them to the best of our ability.
We see fear as normal and a sign that you are pushing yourself to grow …Do you have any tips for pushing through fear?
Everyone can benefit from BREATHING. Deeply and truly inhaling and exhaling. I have found inhaling for a 10 count and exhaling for a 10 count then inhaling for 9 counts and exhaling for 9 counts, etc. has been an amazing tool to help me settle or work through nerves. The world can be terrifying – but just remember that everyone feels that way ( even if they appear not to). If you find fear inhibiting you from doing something, ask yourself “what’s the worst case scenario?”