What would you do if your daughter came home from school in tears because she was publicly humiliated about her pimples? What if she was mocked about wearing maxi pads because she did not like the feeling of tampons?
Ten families in Missouri had to go through the torment of watching their grief-stricken teenage daughters deal with the reality of a vulgar “Senior List” that was distributed to the class and described the sexuality and hygiene of 10 female classmates.
It is obvious that most children and teenagers, male or female, will react negatively towards an embarrassing situation. But instead of reacting, the TURNING STONEchoice program teaches interaction with family and peers to expose root causes of negative situations.
In the TURNING STONEchoice program, the Keep Close Chat is a practice that encourages families to talk about troubling situations to reveal the innermost feelings of a child in emotional distress. What would a Keep Close Chat sound like in this case in Missouri?
The victim would most likely reveal that they were embarrassed about the list, angry with the authors and horrified about showing her face to her peers.
Parents or friends would encourage her to look at the reasons for why her peers authored the list. The motive of this type of harassment and bullying is nothing more than an effort for the authors to maintain control in their own lives but controlling the thoughts and feelings of others.
The teenager would then realize she has choices:
1. Come to terms with reality by accepting the motives of the authors and dismissing the actions
2. Fight back by publicly contradicting the statements in the Senior List
3. Speak with the authors of the list and interact with them in order to maintain control of her own thoughts and feelings
4. Talk with a teacher, counselor or principal
It is important to have the teenager understand that there is no right or wrong answer to this situation. There is only what she will do, and won’t do. Success is achieved when the teenager feels self-empowered and able to make her own choice on how to resolve the situation.
Communication is vital for the well being of children and adolescents. With harassment and bullying being issues nationwide, it is important to avoid children bottling up emotions while triggering harmful thoughts. The Keep Close Chat will improve relationships and boost the self-esteem of individuals.
For more information about the TURNING STONEchoice program and the Keep Close Chat, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.