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At the box office, June has belonged to Wonder Woman. Her blockbuster story has sparked a lot of conversation, some of it about how awesome girl power is, and the choices Wonder Woman makes about how to use it.

Without a doubt, Wonder Woman is a force to be reckoned with.
Gal Gadot, the actress who plays her, chooses to use her stunning self confidence and impressive powers to fight human cruelty. She’s tough, but still tender, her power is tempered by compassion and she prefers peace over conflict.

I think the cool thing about her, and this movie, is that it makes a compelling conversation starter at the dinner table. Earlier this month there was an article in the New York Times with the title, “Asking Girls and Boys, What Would Wonder Woman Do?” The author, Lisa Damour, poses an interesting question: What is the purpose of having power?
If your kids are old enough to answer, start by asking them what they think power is for. When have they seen it used for good, and when have they witnessed it being abused?

Offer up your point of view on power. How would you (or do you) use it? What about bullying— a painful example in kids’ lives of how power hurts people. Ask your kids to consider what they would do if they saw a classmate being bullied. Would they pretend they didn’t see it happening or would they take action and let an adult know about the situation? How about the difference between being assertive and aggressive? When is it okay to fight for what you believe? Is it ever right to force someone to do something?

Wonder Woman is not only a win for girls, and a great piece of cinematic entertainment, it’s also a reason to talk about how this indomitable super-hero uses her might to make right.

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Hi. I’m Ashleigh McPherson. You may know me from In Step as the woman at the window. I am the fortunate one who gets to greet all of the parents and children as they check in for their groups. From my unique vantage point, I am able to see kids and teens coming and going each week and to watch as their therapy progresses.

For some of the kids at In Step, greeting a stranger at the window is no simple task. So it was pretty cool when Rebecca*, who previous sat off in the corner of the waiting room disengaged from everyone, came up to the window with a couple of her friends from group to tell me a joke! And Sam* who interrupted loudly when his fellow group members tried to play a game, is calmer now and more able to go with the flow of the game. I think I have been most surprised by Brian’s* dramatic change. When he first came in for group, his facial expression and body language told me how painful it was for him to be with groups of children. He tried to engage with the other boys and looked like he wanted so desperately to join them, but he just couldn’t. He had a pronounced stutter. It was painful to watch him battling with himself to communicate. Over the months, I’ve witnessed him grow calmer. He checks in at the front desk with me now and looks me right in the eye. His stutter has subsided and he speaks to his friends in the waiting room with more confidence. It warms my heart.

Being at the front desk and seeing how what we do at In Step impacts the lives of these children and their families, makes my job so gratifying. It’s a privilege to see how the work we do changes these kids’ experience of the world for the better.

* We have changed the kids’ names to protect their, and their family’s” privacy.

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