Jan Singer wrote a wonderful blog entry today on her tween son who give her a ‘wild ride’ as most tweens do. Here is my response:
The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything)
Things I promise to do when I grow up:
I’ll travel a lot, I won’t look away when my kids ask me tough questions
I’ll answer truthfully, I won’t swear
I won’t get into silly fights with my husband…
The ‘girl’s’ list from my new book, The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) could go on and on. She knows so clearly what has come into her life that didn’t feel right-parents who didn’t have the time to really hear her. Parents that fought too often. People in her life that somehow, whether with our without meaning to, distorted the truth, and people who did unpleasant behaviors such as swearing. All of these external actions led to internal reactions which were painful to her.
As a positive psychologist I hypothesize that MEAN GIRLS don’t just wake up mean. I believe that they too, have been exposed to too much that began to hurt just too deeply-and then finally one day, they began to give back. And the result is a MEAN GIRL. Perhaps the girl was teased unmercifully, or she came from a household that had too much conflict, or she had no one that really understood her needs. That doesn’t get a MEAN GIRL off the hook and I agree with the information shown on Prime Time 20-/20 show this week on February 26th, 2008 that parents must work with their daughters and help them fend off the MEAN GIRLS. And who best to give strategies, than one’s parents! But also we need to look at the societal factors in the world around us to see what we can all do to help both the MEAN GIRL and the girl being teased. I’ll talk about these factors in other blog entries. But one sure factor is to keep tweens busy and engaged and excited about what they are learning and doing. For example, a girl caring for a horse every day after school will probably not have the time to think about becoming mean-unless someone is not nice to her horse. And then you had better watch out! But that makes sense and sometimes we are reactive because that is exactly the right way to be!
What do you think?
Wonderful article the The Earth Times. You can find it at . My congratulations. Tweens need activities that allow them positive creative outlets. What little girl hasn’t wanted to be a ballerina, or a princess? And what tween hasn’t wanted to be something like a fashion designer? Well, now it seems girls can get a safe way of learning not only about designing clothes but running a business. As a positive psychologist, I know this type of learning experience is exactly what girls need between the ages of 8-14. Your daughter may end up becoming an engineer or a physician or a graphic artist, but the confidence she can learn and the fun she can have in doing an activity that stretches her imagination will never be lost.
In my new book, The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) the girl is so excited to meet any challenge that stretches her thinking and yet keeps her feeling girly, girl at the same time. That is probably why she loves Nancy Drew mysteries. She gets such a kick out of solving them, before Nancy Drew! And that’s why lots of girls are sure to feel excited playing this new game.
Actually, this on-line fashion designing game appeals to the girl inside of me. I wonder if older women can sign up?