Hidden Thoughts of Tweens
I'm working on a project, so I pulled out a file from my cabinet. In it are many, many papers full of anonymous statements girls have written over the years during meetings and workshops.
When given the chance to air (even anonymously) the negative thoughts that nag their minds, they are happy to do so. Girls from various schools, various grades and situations in life have contributed, yet their statements are always strangely similar.
I'm too shy.
I'm too quiet. Too sensitive.
I'm too loud.
I'm too ugly. Too skinny.
I'm so ugly.
I feel like I'm not worth it. I'm never going to fit in.
I'm not cool.
I'm too nice.
I wish I was better.
I feel like I'm not loved.
I'm too fat.
I feel not needed.
Girls everywhere have to overcome thoughts like these. Whether they have much or little, appear popular or subdued, one thing I've learned is most girls fight these feelings.
Many thoughts are based on looks, because we as a culture emphasize that more than anything, to our detriment.
Many thoughts are based in not being confident to be who they are. Goodness, we adults are still learning that, aren't we!?
Girls should remember that all girls, even the ones who appear most confident and perfect, and those who may even appear indifferent, all fight similar inner battles.
This is a good reason to be nice to each other. We have no idea what inner struggles people are going through. A nice person can make all the difference. So can a mean one. For good or bad.
During the tween years, there is tremendous pressure to become like everyone else. But isn't that bizarre?
There is no way every person can be the same. Tweens feel pressure to conform, to be loud or to be quiet, to be cool and confident, anything to fit in.
Yet if they aren't being true to themselves, trying to conform to everyone else will eventually wear them down.
If everyone is fighting the same battles, how about helping each other through them?
Show your daughter these statements that other real girls have written. Ask her if they are common thoughts among girls she knows. Maybe it will lead to the thoughts she struggles with.