Parent Toolbox

Parent Workshop: Teaching girls to use social media in healthy, positive ways

#realmediagirl (def.): a girl who uses social media to be her true self, speak up for what she believes in, and lift up other girls

Parents and educators often don’t know where to start when talking to girls about social-media expectations. We didn’t grow up with Snapchat and Instagram, and it can be overwhelming to try and stay up to date with sea of new apps and trends! Social media is not going away, and researchers agree that social media use by teen girls is currently “fueling a mental health crisis.” ​So what do we do? After spending countless hours with thousands of pre-teen and teen girls, MEDIAGIRLS has answers and have a created a concrete roadmap to share with parents and educators.

In our 60-90 minute workshop, founder and Executive Director Michelle Cove helps explain how we got to this place in which social media often makes girls feel lonelier, more depressed, and more insecure about themselves; and how we can work together to create a revolution to transform this. Michelle shares tips and strategies to help parents and educators support their girls in making social media more fun, healthy, and empowering for themselves and all girls!​

What you’ll learn

Schools we’ve worked with include

  • Cambridge Friends School
  • Winsor School
  • Charles River School
  • Milton Public Library
  • Brookline Public Schools
  • Tri-Town Council
  • Burns Park (Ann Harbor, Michigan)
  • Brockton Middle School
  • Cohen-Hillel Academy



Sample Testimonials

“Michelle is one of the most dynamic, engaging, and inspiring speakers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. She gives honest, practical feedback in a way that is both caring and down to earth, and she is one of the funniest people I have ever met. Her refreshing perspective encourages those she works with to grow, from the youngest, shyest girl in a room to the loudest, most outgoing woman.”

—Mikki Pugh, Boston Program Manager, Strong Women, Strong Girls


Michelle Cove ran her MEDIAGIRLS workshop at the Boston International Kids Film Festival, and provided a great discussion about the myth of the “perfect girl,” what to look for in ads and how companies frequently play on the insecurities of women and girls in order to get them to buy products. The audience clearly enjoyed themselves and learned a lot from the interactive presentation, and I highly recommend Michelle to come to your community and schools!

–Olivia Osiecki, Filmmakers Collaborative


“Michelle’s presentation was informative and thoughtful. Her passion regarding the representation of girls in the media was obvious and motivation to all who had the pleasure of hearing her words. She was able to achieve something that is very difficult when presenting to an audience with such a range of ages, which was to make everyone in attendance think.”

—Keith Civin, The Rashi School, Dedham, MA


Michelle Cove’s presentation to middle-school and high-school girls and parents was remarkably engaging for their parents. Her candid assessment of the societal pressures that the media passively and overtly gives to pre-teen and teenage girls was informative and thought-provoking. Michelle’s ability to hold the audience’s attention was extraordinary, with many leaving well informed.

— Justin Cameron, Principal Frederick W. Hartnett Middle School


Michelle Cove is a charismatic speaker who adeptly presented this difficult topic in a refreshing new light. Michelle’s presentation engaged all of the 50 attending students and left them inspired to make changes on our campus as well as in their communities back home. Several groups went on to initiate their own discussion sessions over their remaining week at the program. We are delighted to work with Michelle in the future and thoroughly recommend her.

–Ariel French, Director of Programming for Explo at Wellesley


Michelle brought a thoughtful and informative presentation to our community, which was great for all ages. She was able to connect with our youngest and oldest and made it possible for them to think critically about the material she presented. We all enjoyed meeting Michelle and learning about how media impacts our everyday life!

–Marley Hanson, Director Camp Farwell


“Michelle spoke at the ‘Gender in Society Day’ at our school and really made an impact on the students. She was an extremely relatable speaker, which made everyone feel comfortable participating and asking questions. Her presentation was engaging and made students think, whether male and female. We were really lucky to have her as a speaker!”

—Samantha Leone, co-founder Media Literacy Club, Newton North High School


We learned from Michelle how to stand up to media messages that undermine girls and women.  We can either be mesmerized by the media’s false images or empowered to re-shape them. By modeling the latter,  MEDIAGIRLS gives girls the tools to transform their lives and the world around them. Michelle opened our eyes and led the way.”  

—Paula Sharaga, Brookline Public Library


Our students’ self-esteem is at the very root of how they will navigate the world. Our goal is to help students recognize that beauty comes from within and that one’s deeds and words define character, not appearance. We are grateful to Michelle Cove for teaching our students and their parents about strengthening their core and empowering them to be “game-changers.”

​–Day Newburg, Assistant to the Head of School Cohen Hillel Academy


Michelle’s message was very empowering. She focused on the current issues, and used relevant popular culture examples, in a way that spoke powerfully to our young women. It dovetailed perfectly with our own mission of training leaders that are able to speak back to negative/limiting messaging for women, and gave some great practical activities to do to build confidence and self-assurance. Highly recommend her as a speaker!

–Mollie Farnham, Outdoor Education Director at Camp Kiniya

Bring a Parent Workshop to your community!

About the speaker

Michelle Cove, founder and Executive Director of MEDIAGIRLS, is an award-winning filmmaker, author, and journalist whose projects have been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Katie Couric’s talk show “Katie,” “The Today Show,” Fox TV, and national publications. She is the author of the book I Love Mondays (Seal Press, 2012), co-author of the national bestseller I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You!: A New Understanding of Mother-Daughter Conflict, and author of Seeking Happily Ever After (Tarcher Penguin, 2010). Michelle was Sr. Editor of the national magazine Girls’ Life, and continues to blog regularly for the award-winning Huffington Post Parents.