Featured Female: Wendy Goldstein

 Featured Female: Wendy Goldstein

47 years old
Chappaqua, NY
Founder of Album Accomplished
1 Boy (15) 1 Girl (12)

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?

Just be true to who you are and do not worry what others think of you. I know this is super hard to do as a teen/tween and maybe even as an adult sometimes but when we are true to ourselves we find the happiness and the confidence we need to succeed.

 

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?

Again, I want to surround myself with friends who accept me for who I am. I want friends who are kind and have my back. I want friends who understand my goofy sense of humor and can understand my sarcasm without being offended – Hopefully, they can take it and dish it back.

 

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?

Growing up we had a large extended family and I always loved getting together for holiday meals or special events. Times were simpler then and schedules were not as hectic. It is still super important to me that my children spend time with all of their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. Also, sitting down for dinner with just my husband and kids is very limited so I think making sure we have quality family time is necessary. Anytime we can bond as a family is great —  whether we all go see a Broadway show, take a vacation or (literally) drag them to a museum, it creates lasting memories and sometimes they even walk away with some culture!

 

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.

It has always been very difficult for me to take a compliment. When I do receive kind words about myself I often belittle it somehow. I have a good friend who will always tell me to just say thank you and accept it. Her voice is in my ear and I try to heed her advice.

 

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)

Ha! I wish I knew the answer to that.

I have always been creative but not crafty – so knitting and anything art related are definitely off the table. These days I like exercising with friends, seeing shows and reading. I was into cooking for a while but at the end of the day making something that everyone in my family was willing to eat with was often frustrating (of course that had nothing to do with my skill level LOL).   Having started Album Accomplished and creating photo books for my clients is really something I enjoy doing. Not only does it let me be creative but my kids also see a different side to me than just being their mom.

 

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?

I think this is always a work in progress. I often need to remind myself that none of us are mind readers so if we don’t communicate what it is that is bothering us, it is hard to fix the issue.

 

Social Media is now a fact of life…
Social Media… Love it or Love Hating It?

Love it and hate it!

What do you do to help balance your digital life and you’re your “real life”?   Any tips to share?

When we are eating together as a family, phones, tablets etc are not allowed at the table.
Phones are charging at night in the kitchen, not in the bedrooms.
I often tell everyone to put down their devices in the car just so they can look up and actually take in the scenery and have a conversation. So much dialogue often comes out of a car ride so I don’t want to lose those opportunities.
It’s a daily battle and I am always told that am the only parent who cares about limiting screen time. I know that is not true and I am guessing my kids know that as well but as the saying goes…The struggle is real. It is so important to live in the present.

 

When you look out into the world, who do you see as great role models for girls?

My daughter was really into watching Dance Moms for a long time and I would often leave the room when the show was on because I just couldn’t stomach it. The star of the show, Abby Lee Miller, in my opinion, is a tyrant and is verbally abusive to her students. It is easy in that situation to explain to my children what a role model is NOT.

 

Can you think of a mistake that you made that led to great things – an important learning or a new direction?

I think that just knowing that we all make mistakes is important. My kids will probably tell you that I make mistakes all the time. The important thing is learning from them, growing and moving on.

On a side note…In fourth grade, my teacher handed us a pop quiz and told us to make sure we read the directions before proceeding. I was definitely part of the large majority of students who didn’t bother with the instruction and just answered all of the questions. We all basically failed that task because reading the directions would have told us not to answer anything. I told my kids this story many times since they started elementary school – hoping they would eventually learn from my mistakes. Wouldn’t you know that they have both since received assignments latike the above and still did not bother reading first. 

 

We see fear as normal and a sign that you are pushing yourself to grow …
Do you have any tips for pushing through fear?

Pushing through what makes us vulnerable definitely helps us to grow. My son is musical and often plays guitar in front of a crowd. While I get way more nervous than he does, I always tell him that none of us (meaning my family) can do what he is doing and we are all looking up at him in awe. I know this gives him a sense of pride and a feeling that he has something to offer. We can all benefit from that mindset.

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