This week one of topics of discussion on #gtchat will be “Communication Strategies for Parents of Tweens/Teens”.
To get in the right frame of mind the #gtstoogies are serving teen favourite fast foods, milkshakes and chocolate.
I must apologise for the condition of the room. Sprite left her gtchat teeshirt on the couch and her Twitter Nike and DeBono grey sneakers on the floor and has also just dumped her stuff in front of the Shelfari shelf which is displaying Annie Fox books .
She did this although I asked her to help me get the room ready and to help me write thank you letters to the organisers of the Reform Symposium. She just helped herself to a slab of chocolate and went out to see Ginger Pony.
Emotional Dabrowski was looking at me and then looking at Sprite and became quite overcome with teenage angsty emotions!
Typical of many gifted children Sprite has a strong sense of justice.
She loves to organize protest marches and campaigns like the Feetspeak Unfair to Sprite protest march and the Please Remember campaign.
So when she saw that author Annie Fox, who has been a guest contributor to Sprite’s blog, is organizing an anti-bullying campaign in the U.S., she was eager to help.
This is Annie Fox’s campaign
Cruel’s Not Cool! a new anti-bullying campaign to engage students, teachers, administrators and parents in a community-wide exploration of our culture of cruelty, why cruel’s not cool, and what each of us can do, moment-by-moment to take back our schools by making them safer, more accepting places for all students all the time.
So Sprite repainted her signs and assembled her campaigners. There were more of them this time.
I noticed a monkey and a meerkat among the marchers.
All the over excitable Dabrowski dogs were there. Imaginational was dreaming of an ideal world where no one was cruel and people and dogs spent their days lazing happily in the sun together.
Caramel Cat was really lazing in the sun and Arachnid the Spider was still too busy with web design to attend.
Everyone seemed to be giving the same message this time – even Columbus Cheetah who could not find a way of working in a message of protest about speed restrictions.
As expected the Origami Secretary Bird had a slightly different approach and claimed that the campaign was about stopping work place harassment. But Sprite did not mind because she said Cruel Is NOT Cool in any setting!
Annie Fox says:
March 6, 2010 at 6:27 am
You’ve asked a really important question. “Why are kids mean to each other?” Wow! I could write a book just on that one! Actually, in a way, I already have. If you haven’t yet read “Real Friends vs. The Other Kind” you should. In it you will definitely find some answers to the most common friendship issues.
But you don’t have to read the book to realize that people (that includes adults, kids, tweens and teens) are incredibly complex! Sometimes we want to do the right thing and we do it. The “right” thing can include: being respectful to other people, being kind, being true to yourself, etc. And sometimes we’re not sure what the right thing is. Why? Because at that moment you might feel very scared or very angry or very embarrassed. Those intense emotions can make it really hard to think straight. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m not thinking straight, I am much more likely to do or say something I later regret… something that’s rude and hurts someone’s feelings.
Back to your question: some kids are mean to other kids because the adults in their lives haven’t been very nice to them. So those kids feel bad about themselves. When a person feels that way a lot of the time he or she lashes out at others. It’s not fair, and it doesn’t make it OK. No way! But it may help you understand where the “mean kid” is coming from.
In those situations the best thing you can do is first to take some slow deep breaths to calm yourself down. Then calmly and maturely let people know (by your words and your behavior) that you don’t appreciate what they did. Do your best to put yourself back in control of your own behavior. Know that you deserve respect and show, by the choices you make at school and at home, that you always respect yourself.
Oh, one more thing that can help in these annoying situations, is to remind yourself that you won’t be going to this school with these kids forever. Thank goodness! As you get older and move up in the grades the other kids get more mature and less interested in putting down other people.
Sprite was very excited.
“Look, Annie Fox wroteto me! The letter was in the Comments Box but I printed it out and I’m going to put it up on the blog so everyone is sure to see it because not everyone reads the Comments. I do – I like to see what people think about articles”
“Can you help me write the letter to Annie Fox at http://anniefox.com/ NOW please?” demanded Sprite “I asked you to help me do that a couple of weeks ago!“
“OK, what do you want to write?”
“Just tell her all that mean stuff the queen bee girls were saying to me, calling me Spit and Spite and ask her why kids are mean like that! Send her the blog entry you wrote about it.“ https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/spit-spite-sprite/
“OK,” I said “I’ll do that.
But in the meantime have a look at What Kids Want to Know about Bullying and Other Friendship Issues at http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Kids-Want-to-Know-About-Bullying-and-Other-Friendship-Issues&id=3723788
I think you will find that was one of one of the questions she answered.”
Also I will see whether we can get some of her books for you to read” http://www.anniefox.com/books/msc.html
Annie Fox has a series called Middle School Confidential. You can watch a video trailer at http://www.anniefox.com/books/msc.html and you can download a free leaders’ guide to the series at http://www.freespirit.com/files/OTHER/Leader’s_Guide_to_the_MS_Confidential_Series.pdf
As well as the Middle School Confidential series Annie Fox has written Too stressed to think and The Teen Survival Guide to Dating & Relating which is out of print now but can be downloaded FREE at http://www.anniefox.com/books/tsg.html
The alarm clock was jangling and Sprite was pulling my nose and shouting in my ear.
“Wake up, wake up! You’ll really regret it if you miss the #gtchat session”
I squinted at the alarm clock. “But it’s only three twenty-five am!”
“I know. That gives you half an hour to get up and have a cup of coffee and get the computer fired up before it starts.”
“But it’s not even on today” I said “It will be on Saturday for us in Australia”
“I know that!” said Sprite “I looked it up on The World Clock Meeting Planner http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html
Twelve noon Friday for them is 4.00am Saturday for us and 7.00pm Friday for them is 11.00am Saturday for us.”
“So why did you wake me up now?”
“I wanted you to have a practice run!”
I said “I plan to attend the 11.00am session and then I can read the transcript of the earlier session from links on Deborah Mersino’s Ingeniosus Blog” http://giftedperspective.typepad.com/ingeniosus/
“Well since you are awake now can you take me to visit Cybraryman’s website at http://www.cybraryman.com/ and can you help me write a letter to Annie Fox?” http://anniefox.com/