On my “To Write” list is an article entitled “What to Do When Your Daughter’s Friend is a Mean Girl.” I have a classic example to tell and story to share…so hopefully I’ll sit down at some point and get the article written…but in the meantime, check out this great advice from Rachel Simmons on the same topic.
Check out this news story from “across the pond:” Friendship & Other Weapons is featured in an article in the Irish Independent newspaper!
This morning, I had the GREAT honor and pleasure of doing a workshop for about 120 Girl Scouts and their moms (ages 5-11), based on some of the lessons and activities in Friendship & Other Weapons. We focused on specific ways that the girls can become allies to someone who is being bullied both before, during, and after bullying situations. In less than 10 minutes, the amazing girls came up with over 60 ways to be a friend to someone who is being bullied! They also learned that:
It is never OK to do nothing about bullying!
Here are a few of the “How to Be a Friend” and “Stop Bullying” posters they left with me to share with you. Please check the Bullying in Elementary School link to see more and to find out how to schedule a Friendship & Other Weapons workshop for your group of girls.
This morning, an interviewer asked me how the idea for Friendship & Other Weapons came to be. Thought it was worth sharing with you as well…
My previous book, How to Be Angry, started with the fundamental premise that anger is OK; its 15-session curriculum is all about giving children, tweens and teens specific assertive skills to express their anger in constructive, relationship-building ways. After writing the book, it became obvious to me that there is a large group of young people who are shut out from this basic presupposition that anger is a normal, natural human experience. Millions of young girls in the United States grow up immersed in a social universe in which “being angry” is equated with “being bad” or, at best, not “being nice.” (more…)
What happens when harmless spats over sharing toys are replaced by cruel cyber-rumors about liking boys? Will your daughter know what to do when pint-sized pushes evolve into painful tween shoves? When the simplicity of forming a friendship just by climbing the same jungle gym is replaced by the intricacy of scaling middle-school social ladders, how can you teach your daughter to stand up to bullies?
It’s one thing to write about helping kids make smart choices when it comes to expressing anger — it’s another thing to watch an emotional situation play out right before your eyes and hope that your own child will make a good decision! Last weekend, I took my daughter and her friend to a pizza-n-games type of place. For them, making time for the delicious pizza buffet is like “having” to eat their veggies before they can enjoy dessert; wobbly crane machines and spinning prize wheels are the true delight of the restaurant. (more…)
Check out this great article by Rachel Simmons, as featured in Teen Vogue: http://www.teenvogue.com/connect/2011/09/reputation-rehab?currentPage=1 Simmons shares real life stories of ruined reputations and how girls can cope with social ostracism.
The article is jam-packed with pearls of wisdom, but this quote from one of the gossip-survivors just rings especially true:
Elsa realized that denying the rumors seemed to make them worse, so she decided to confront them head-on. “The more I was like, ‘It happened. Get over it,’ the more people would drop it. I think that when you don’t tell people things and they know it, they become even more invested in figuring out what it is. If you’re honest and up-front about it, it goes away.”
Please check out this is great, thought-provoking op-ed piece from the NY Times. I whole-heartedly agree that with the authors that:
Interventions must focus on positive concepts like healthy relationships and digital citizenship rather than starting with the negative framing of bullying. The key is to help young people feel independently strong, confident and capable without first requiring them to see themselves as either an oppressed person or an oppressor.
It’s the social worker in me, I suppose; I am a strengths-perspective kinda girl. In my new book, this is the approach I take. While the book title Friendship & Other Weapons is used to convey to adult readers the nature of how girl bullying is acted out within relationships, girl participants will come to know their membership as part of a Real Friendships group. As such, the solution-focused lessons, engaging group activities and relevant discussions will help girls cope with “drama” in honest, relationship-enhancing, self-affirming ways.