Monday, March 17, 2014

Rating Girls on Social Media

This was in the news yesterday.

March Madness Bracket Rates High School Girls

At a high school in Maryland, some guys set up a bracket of the top 4 best looking girls in each grade, then they would vote for the best looking.

And it's all public, on social media.

Use this news story as a talking point with your kids to see what they're seeing on social media.

Does it matter? Why is this ok or why is it wrong? How does it affect the guys voting and how does it affect the girls?

What's interesting, is some girls do this to each other (pretty much) on Instagram....mainly in middle school. They vote each other out of a contest of girls, based on the pictures posted. That's not much different, do you think?

Discussion Starters: Have you seen girls or guys do this to each other on Instagram? Why do people do this? How do you think it makes people feel?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Why She Prayed Each Day To Be Lighter

Dark skinned beauty is less represented in our culture than it should be, that's a given. Have you read or watched this amazing speech that left Oprah and Chaka Khan (among others) speechless?

Best Supporting Actress Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, of 12 Years a Slave, felt so underrepresented by the entertainment industry as a young girl of Kenyan descent growing up in Mexico City, that she prayed she “would wake up lighter skinned”. She would check each morning to see if God answered her prayers.

He didn't, at least not in the way she originally wanted. Watch this moving speech.



I think she is proof that beauty comes in all shades.

Thank goodness for role models like her.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tulsans, A Must See- if you like stories of hope and forgiveness



A friend of mine passed this news on to me today. An author of one of the most riveting books I've read will be in Tulsa this week to speak at a church.

I must pass this opportunity along.

Immaculee Ilibagiza, the author of "Left to Tell- Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust"  is going to be speaking this Wednesday night at St. Benedict Catholic Church, 2200 W. Ithica in Broken Arrow. 

She is the woman that survived the Rwandan Genocide by hiding in a bathroom with 6 other women for 90 days while the Hutus used machetes to kill the Tutsis to death. She has a great message of survival and forgiveness.

It's not often we get to see someone in person who has survived such horrible circumstances, chosen to forgive and use the experience to inspire people. 



I urge you to read her book.

And to come see her speak if you can!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Too Much for Mom?

Let's get controversial- I have some friends and girls I respect that I know will disagree with me, and let me say I'm not into bashing PEOPLE, and I've sung along to Beyonce before, but I AM into being discerning of intake.

I'm sharing this blog from The Matt Walsh Blog today, as food for thought. So take a moment and read America- You're Too Smart To Listen To Beyonce before continuing.

I share this because of the point he's making- about being careful of the input we are listening to and putting into our spirits. If you read the lyrics and subject matter of the songs referred to, I agree- which is why some music, tv shows and movies I won't listen to or watch...for me, it's really because I respect my mind and spirit too much to let things that I feel are going to not feed my spirit in a positive way or will "kill brain cells" (my words).

Obviously Beyonce is an amazing performer, but I'm saying if we want to be discerning about input that affects our insides, as much as people are into being discerning about food that's put inside of us that affect our bodies, this is something to think about at least.

Can I listen to things that are opposite of what I believe in and teach?

As someone asked me "What do you think is going to happen if you do listen to it?" Nothing dramatic in small doses maybe, but if that becomes the normal intake, do we believe that what goes in doesn't affect our thoughts at all? Or affect our culture at all? It's at least something to think about.

It's interesting that Beyonce said in an interview she's too embarrassed to play these songs in front of her mom. 

As my husband has told our kids, which is a pretty balanced perspective, once in a while we can have junk food, but we have to be careful what it is and how much we have, or it affects our health. We need to watch our "diet".

H also tells them if they find themselves in bad moods, sad or having attitudes, they should stop and take a look at their music and media intake. It affects us.

I would love if Beyonce used her amazing talent for a better message. She's such an influencer of young people, both girls and guys alike.

Please feel totally free to share your thoughts, whether you agree or not. I'm interested to hear. If you disagree, I'd love to hear the reasons why.

I am into making people think, so I'm open to people making ME think. :)

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A February Challenge That Can Make a Difference

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

We may think we don't need to know about dating violence, but we do.

We have posted so many resources and statistics on our website for you. Go to our home page www.5things.us and click on the tab "National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month". There are statistics, resources, quizzes, polls, real stories from girls I know, and a recommended movie to watch for a discussion starter.

Why not gather a group of girls you know this month and watch the movie, or go over some stats, or just ask some questions? Get a conversation started. Because I've discovered, once someone starts the conversation, needed things happen.

Let's be there for our girls.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Can Your BF Pass This Quiz?



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Can Your BF Pass this Quiz?

Stop Teen Abuse Credit: Carey Hope
"He's so dreamy, so nice, so thoughtful."

Then over time, he begins to do some things that make you a little uncomfortable, but maybe, you think, it's just a bad day? You find yourself thinking, "Maybe I did something wrong to cause it? Surely that won't be normal."

You find yourself explaining him to people...

"It's kinda sweet, he always wants to know where I am and who I'm with. He really cares... kinda romantic!"

"He just doesn't like my friends that much, I mean, he likes them I guess, but he'd rather not hang out with them. That's ok.... I guess."

Do you ever wonder about some things your boyfriend does? Is it normal?

There are a couple of great websites to help answer that question.

One is www.loveisrespect.org. This website is FULL of info, resources, quizzes, help for teens and parents, and even a text-in peer advocate line.

If you want to take the quiz to see if you are in a healthy relationship, click here: Healthy Relationship Quiz

Another great source- Here is a checklist from www.stayteen.org


DATING ABUSE CHECKLIST

Sometimes it can be almost impossible to look at your relationship objectively. But if you’re concerned that your partner is abusive, your instincts are probably right. Go through our dating abuse checklist and see if your partner has said or done any of the things below. Can you answer agree with some or many of the statements below? If so, it’s time to think about getting help and getting out.
  • My partner teases me in ways that hurt my feelings.
  • My partner calls me mean names like "stupid" or "fat" or “worthless”.
  • My partner acts jealous of the time I spend with friends, family, or people I’m in class with.
  • My partner gets angry about the clothes I wear or how I style my hair or they try to control how I look.
  • My partner checks up on me by calling, driving by my house, or getting someone else to call/drive by my house.
  • My partner always wants to know who I talk to on the phone or who I’ve texted.
  • My partner says it’s my fault when they have a bad day or are in a bad mood.
  • My partner throws or destroys things when angry.
  • My partner hits walls, drives dangerously, or does other things that scare me.
  • My partner drinks excessively or uses drugs.
  • My partner insists that I drink or use drugs whenever they do.
  • My partner often accuses me of cheating or of being into other people.
  • My partner doesn’t respect my privacy (he/she reads my email, goes through my personal things, demands access to my desk/locker, insists on seeing my text message history).
  • My partner has threatened to hurt me.
  • My partner has threatened to commit suicide if I leave.
  • My partner has intentionally hit, kicked, slapped, punched, or otherwise hurt me.
  • My partner has given me visible bruises, welts, or cuts.
  • My partner forces me to go further sexually than I want to.
  • My partner is mean to me in front of other people, but sweet, kind, and apologetic when we’re alone.
  • My friends have told me they worry about me because of my partner/ think my partner is abusive.
Talk to a parent or adult today. Get someone else's opinion. Be honest with them. You deserve to be treated with respect.

You can call or text this Hotline- 24 hours a day. Seven days a week.

Text "loveis" to 77054. Or call 1-866-331-9474

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Surely It Won't Happen To Anyone I Know

Each February for the last few years I have dedicated my efforts to National Dating Violence Awareness Month. This started kind of on accident.

A group of high school girls and I were having regular meetings one year, when the TV channel Lifetime came out with a movie about dating violence, to increase awareness and discussion. This movie is called "Reviving Ophelia", based on a book I had read, so I figured we may as well watch it.

Well, as I've discovered, once discussion is opened, there is more going on than meets the eye. The movie does a good job in showing early warning signs of unhealthy relationships before someone escalates to violence. A couple of girls recognized early behaviors in the movie character that looked a lot like people they dated. I was surprised that we had hit on a need just among the small group of girls I knew, therefore I knew this had to be an ongoing topic of awareness.

Each year, I've heard at least 1, sometimes 2, 3 and 4, instances of someone I know who has experienced either unhealthy dating relationships or violence. When we start talking, so do others. It is a conversation we have to have with our kids, girls and boys alike. There are stories of boys who have had abusive behavior coming from girls.

This conversation we must have is also about healthy and unhealthy relationships, how to recognize early signs of abusive behavior before physical violence takes place. There are many warning signs of abusive people that manifest before physical violence takes place.

There are things we can educate ourselves on- patterns and behaviors of dating partners that are not healthy. If we can recognize those early enough, maybe we can help people get out of unhealthy relationships before worse things happen.

Other times we are victims of dating violence with no warning, which is devastating. In those situations, there has to be support, conversation, and understanding to help girls recover.

There is so much to share on the subject. A good beginning is to share this link. President Obama has declared February National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and is making a special effort to decrease violence among college students, where it is so prevalent. You can read this on the link below.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/31/presidential-proclamation-national-teen-dating-violence-awareness-month-

Www.loveisrespect.org is a wonderful resource for advice, quizzes to find out if your relationship is healthy, educational information, promotional materials, as well as how to get help for those in questionable relationships.

I also recommend watching the movie "Reviving Ophelia" with high schoolers and older. Watch it first yourself for content so you can decide on appropriate ages to view it. The movie can be purchased online with a quick google search. It can be found on www.mylifetime.com and even has a study guide that can be downloaded for discussion points.

Get educated. Get help for yourself or for a friend. Be aware so you know what to watch for. Spread the word.

It's so important.