Tonight, Monday evening, I happened to catch some of Two and One Half Men on CBS. It is a modern day comedy-a far cry from I Love Lucy that I so loved to watch on Monday nights at 9:00 PM so many years ago. That show had an innocense that Two and One Half Men lacks. However, it is a different era. And that’s what made tonight’s show so poignant, in terms of being a tween. The youngster, who is the son of one of the characters and the nephew of the other is going to Junior High or Middle School-I didn’t catch which. So the men are taking him shopping. They make him buy old people’s looking sneakers so no one will try to beat him up and steal his sneakers. They make him buy beige pants because no gang members wear beige. By the time they put him on the school bus he looks scared to death. As they walk away, one of the men remarks, “We’ve done all we could do, now it’s up to him.”
And I suppose that is true. We have done or not done what we can and now our tweens are out in our society, sometimes scared to death, exposed to pressures and worries that we would never have dreamed of as children. This is not good for them. Kids are still developing emotionally and physically. Having the pressures on them that someone might beat them up for their sneakers or simply beat them up because the other guy is in a gang is frightening.
Even though the ‘girl’ in my new book, The Truth, I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything, lives in a simpler time, she gives parents and tweens a great chance to talk about so many ’scary’ and complicated subjects. She is also worried about transitioning, just like the boy in the show. She also wants friends and to fit in. Sometimes it is easier to talk about important subjects when we simplify the setting. That’s what I did in this book. The Truth gives us direct access to look at all the issues surrounding growing up. And we should! Our tweens deserve it!
Gosh darn! Cussing banned in California town-taken from CNN news
Mayor hopes proclamation will “elevate the level of discourse”
Anti-swearing drive started with teen who founded high school’s No Cussing Club
This news is so exciting. As a positive psychologist, a school psychologist, a mom and a grandma, I’m thrilled to read about a 14 year old boy having the courage and conviction to come out loud and clear that cussing is not necessary, not nice and we can handle ourselves in more refined ways! Congratulationgs to him. I was tickled to see this special week happening in California. In my new book, The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) the girl is very upset when a cousin comes to visit who swears all the time. She knows it isn’t nice and it doesn’t feel good to listen to the language. How is it that so many of us Americans have forgotten when children know to be true? I hope we can all practice no cussing days, everyday!
I heard on ABC Now News today that bullying can increase the risk of depression and even suicide. These are serious findings. For more information fo to www.abc.com and go to the on call section. Every day, in every way possible we need to help kids, teens and tweens to not be bullied. We also need to help the bully so he or she doesn’t have the rage or hurt inside to be a bully. We have a big task but we can do it.
Here are some pointers: 1. In your family life don’t make fun of each other or bully. Remember that kids model what they see!
2. If you child talked about a bully in school or the neighborhood LISTEN and stay alert. If you see any changes in your child, even small ones like leaving the dinner table early, talk to her and see what is going on.
3. Remember you are the grown-up and take responsibility if necessary. If you think you had better speak to a teacher, guidance counselor or principal about your child being bullied or your child showing some traits as a bully, do it!
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?