Welcome RACHIEROO4 and MAGGIE! Love having you with us. You're part of the Tween You and Me sisterhood now.
And welcome BACK HOLLY and BETHANY. Once a TYAM sister, always one. We understand being busy, and we hope you'll be busy with US for a while this summer. Good to hear from you.
Some of you -- NOELLE and MAGGIE -- have been to the antibullying webpage and pledged to be part of the SO Not Okay movement. ALYSSA is going to take a selfie of her and her friend with their pledge cards and send it to me so I can post it on Instagram as part of the movement to get other girls on board. You can do that too. LARISSA has two friends who want to form a Tribelet with her. ALYSSA and two of her besties are going to make some anti-bullying videos! (Will you send me those, Alyssa?)
If you want to be part of the movement, even in a small way, go to the website and decide what you want to do and tell us about it here. As part of our blog, you are the very CORE of the movement. Now, seriously, how awesome is that? This is IMPORTANT work and I can't think of a better group to do it than you.
You're already doing some work on your own, starting with finding your one-line assertive response for anyone who teases you or calls you a name. (If you missed Friday's post, just click here to catch up.)
When AMELIA is called "Goody goody", even by her best friend, she's going to say: "Good is the new cool."
When LARISSA is called "crazy", she says, "It's good seeing people happy, right?"
If you haven't found your one-liner, see if you can think of one today and share it with us here in a comment. You never know -- yours could be adopted by someone else who gets labelled exactly like you do.
Last week I promised you some more Jesus ways to take back the power to be yourself, so here's another one.
One of the reasons girls (and boys) say mean things is to get a reaction from you. If you cry, that makes them feel powerful (I know, sick, right?) If you get mad, they think that's funny (weird sense of humor if you ask me.) There is obviously something going on with a person who needs to feel powerful and better-than-you, and you probably aren't going to be able to change that something in that person.
What you CAN do is stop the cycle. If you don't cry, she doesn't feel the power. If you don't pitch a fit, she has nothing to laugh at. If you don't say something equally as mean back to her, she can't think she controls you.
That doesn't mean don't FEEL anything. Of course it hurts. Of course you get angry and frustrated and want to make HER hurt like you do.
Instead, do two things - simple things:
(1) Put on your game face
(2) Go someplace away from the bullying girl and THEN express all that hurt and anger
We're just going to talk about (1) today and we'll come back to (2) Friday.
What's a game face?
Maeryn is showing you hers in today's picture. When she has to do something that's hard, like get a shot, or something she doesn't want to do, like when she first started swimming lessons, she will say, "I'm putting on my game face" and then she forms that expression.
It works every time.
I had to use mine a lot last week when I was with an older member of my family who is growing sick in her mind. I couldn't cry in front of her or say, "That hurt my feelings!" because she can't help it. It's a little bit that way with kids who bully: the way they act is wrong, but at this time they aren't ready to change it.
Your job? Not to let them get what they want, which is power over you. So you put on your game face and as soon as you can, you walk away.
How is that a Jesus thing? He says, in Matthew 5:38, "Here's what I propose: don't hit back at all." (The Message) And how can you keep from hitting back, even with a dirty look? Put on your I can do this face, your You can't hurt me because I don't hear you expression and get outa there.
So here's what to do. Go to a mirror and imagine that someone is calling you that name that stings you or makes you want to pinch someone's head off. Practice making your face as without expression as you can. Once you get there -- you find your game face -- do one of these things --
1. Have someone snap a picture of you or take a selfie and with your parents' permission, send that to me in an email
2. Draw yourself wearing your game face and take a picture of that and send it to me in an email
3. Describe what your game face looks like in words and post that in a comment
Friday we'll talk about where to go from there. Just putting on a game face doesn't solve the problem, but it's step one. Will we see you here Friday?
'Til then -- take back the power to be yourself!