Posts Tagged ‘Clarity’
I’m often reminded that we live in a tiny world. With the launch of iTwixie.com, I’m getting the rare opportunity to hear from girls all over the globe. It’s amazing to me that regardless of culture, many of these girls struggle with many similar themes. And yet, doesn’t it make sense? If you’re a girl 8-14, aren’t you just bursting with enthusisam, curiosity and the wish to be who you feel you really are deep down inside? And as you find yourself experiencing all kinds of new things, aren’t you realizing yourself that there is even more to you than you thought?
Do you remember what it was like to be a tween?
I started to run when I was a tween. I thought running would help me look a certain way. But over time running became my escape. A pressure release. My challenge. Time alone. A moment of clarity. And at the end of every run I felt that everything was really a lot better than before I had gone on that run.
Thing is, today, our global society puts more pressure on our tween girls than ever. But we don’t have to. We can join forces and foster the development of tween girls no matter where they live. We can help tween girls identify tools for identifying their moments of clarity. Escape. Release. Challenge. We can help them see the world around them in a better light.
iTwixie.com. Join the revolution. Because it is a small world and together we can change it!
May your next run be a good one!
Just ran a fabulous, hilly 4 and I feel wonderful. This song is stuck in my mind. I love it. And it bears a significance to me right now, as I reflect on the past few months in the life of our daughter, a 6th grader. She’s found “the greatest love of all” this year. Maybe you’ll understand better when you read the story.
Over the past few months, my husband and I have learned about our daughter’s struggle to confront a bully in her school. Good news is that she did it. Now she’s establish herself with a group of happy and helpful friends who believe in the goals she’s setting for herself for the end of the school year. Her strength to move away from the bully didn’t come from watching role models of mean girls on tv or today’s mean girl movies. She didn’t read about what to do in the “chic lit” stories that the bully loves to read. And candidly, she didn’t follow any specific advice from me or my husband. We had no idea that she was even being bullied. But something we’ve been saying did help to spark her inner voice. This, coupled with a few anti-bullying initiatives at her school, seemed to help her identify the bullying problem.
See, we always discuss with our kids how important it is to choose good friends. We’ll ask them, “Which friends are helping you become the best ‘you’ that you can be?” Well, this year, as our daughter started to meet some new girls in middle school, she found herself thinking about her friends. She started to evaluate which ones were helping her become the best kid she could be. I find this amazing. But this is what she tells us. Then, her school started to educate the kids on what it means to be bullied. So she found herself struggling with her friendship with a girl who, unbeknownst to us, constantly degraded her, insulted her, and started even physically pushing her. Sometimes she was nice. Most of the time she created havoc. Our daughter came to realize that this girl who she had known for years, wasn’t a friend at all. Our daughter realized, on her own, that she was actually being bullied. She told me that she thought to herself, “I don’t have to put up with it anymore.” And she spoke with her school counselor and made arrangements to be moved away from the bully. My husband and I did notice a dramatic change in our daugher: She became happier. More fun. Nicer to her siblings. Started doing better in school. Wearing more creative clothing. And now she’s even taking better care of herself. Unbelievable.
Now that we know the whole story, we’ve gotten involved with the school, with our daughter’s ongoing interactions with the girl, and to an extent, even the family. It turns out, this girl had been bullying more girls than just our daughter. The parents seem incredibly surprised at their daughter’s behavior. And since we all agreed that it does no good to allow anyone to continue behaving this way, the family responded quite pro-actively. Hopefully this experience will end up having a positive impact on many more than just our daughter.
So you see, it’s been an amazing few months.
May your next run be a good one.
And so the saga continues for my 11 year-old girl. Now she wants to quit activities to avoid a girl who continues to call names, push and make mean comments. Ugh.
I had to go for a fast, 2-miler to think this one through. What to do?
I came up with a plan. I let her bail on one activity, since it’s something she really had outgrown months ago, anyway. And then I sat her down to figure out a few things that have been going on with this girl so she could practice some responses. She and I role-played what to say if the girl pushed her, said something mean or interrupted a conversation. And I sent her off to school. I thought, there she goes. Ready to deal. She has real tools to use against the bully.
I felt good.
But then, as I went about my day, I found myself wondering why this little girl is bullying my daughter. I know that bullies need a victim — someone who seems emotionally or physically weaker, or just acts or appears different in some way — to feel more important, popular, or in control. Could this be why?
I wondered, is the girl just acting on how she’s treated at home? Is she mimicking some of the rude, thoughtless characters that seem to fill today’s tv programs? Are we, as a society, allowing more bullying in our schools today, as more and more parents seem to allow disrespectful and rude behavior?
And then I realized that this is going to take a good 10k — or a whole weekend of running — to come up with some good theories. So, to prepare, I spent a few minutes doing a little research. What I found disturbed me. Many tips include telling the child to walk away, ignore the bully, tell a teacher. I’m not sure if these are good tactics for my daughter. She can only walk away, ignore and avoid so much. She’s leaving fun conversation, avoiding activites, etc., and in my opinion, inconvenienced too much just because one little girl is rude, mean-spirited and needs help. I know. My opinion. But really, how can I keep telling my daughter to avoid this girl?
Meanwhile, the new friends my daughter has found bring out joy and laughter in her. I’m delighted. She seems full of life and is enthusiastic about school. She even told me that maybe Bully Girl is going through something; is choosing some tough friends; just isn’t herself. I’m so proud of my daughter for coming to those conclusions on her own.
It’s striking, though, when I look around and see what our society models for our kids. Maybe we’re not doing our job. Maybe what would help, is if we treated each other with a little more kindness, thoughtfulness, patience and understanding. On some level, we all have to admit, we’re pretty nasty to each other, when you consider many sitcoms on tv, reality tv, commercials, radio programming, and even current events stories that fill our nation with negativity.
If we agree that we’re all, each of us, whether we’re a kid, a tween, a teen or an adult, could use a little patience, caring and understanding, then isn’t the first thing we ought to do is reach out and show others these exact traits in ourselves?
Next time you feel like shouting, think about how you could approach the same comment with kindness, especially if some kid is watching. Try and say something positive. Diffuse the situation. Get the other side laughing with you! You may be helping that kid to become more compassionate, too!
May your next run be a good one.