After watching the news this evening there was a lead story on the message young people feel they need to project to fit in. Most of us have been there. In school we were judged by how we dressed and who we dated, and it appears that hasn't changed.
However, what has changed is the type of pressure our youth faces. When we chose not to conform,we faced less invitations to parties and less people around our table at lunch. Today our youth gets taunted and even bullied physically.
For young girls skirts and tops are shorter, young guys pants are worn 3x their size and hang almost to their knees, and even when some parents lay down the law their young children change their clothes in school just to escape ridicule. What is really sad for some of these young adults, is that they are going against who they really are, and as a result find themselves with a real problem of low self-esteem.
It is so important that we pass on to our children that it is more important to feel good about who you are inside, than how we decorate our outer body. If we can show that being a loving, warm, contributing human being is really what it's all about, I think we are aiding in creating a future world that holds hope and promise.
If we cave every time our children become angry and say hurtful things, we too are guilty of worrying about having a friendship with our kids and being the "cool Mom or Dad," rather than parenting the way we know would really help; even though the stance we take may put a strain on the relationship between parent and child.
To many of our young are depressed, even suicidal, one of the High Schools in the Albany area have had 5 suicides in just under 5 months, that is a child a month, how frightening is that? Between the commercials, music videos, even the Reality Shows, they are being sent really powerful and misguided messages.
We can't build a fortress and cut all connection to the arts, but we can instill that eventually physical beauty changes, but true beauty is everlasting.Would they rather have temporary acceptance and feel bad inside? or Have a permanent peace, and sense of who they are, that will carry them guilt-free and happily on their journey through life.
In my book I cover the name calling and teasing I withstood, and have written about this on previous blogs, however, after hearing these kids tonight speak about how they feel they have no choice, and that it's a necessity to their acceptance really struck a nerve.
There are so many valley's and mountains ahead, that if we can't come together to reassure these young people that being who they truly are is the basis of where they wind up; I am afraid their roads will have very few sections without obstacles or road blocks.
So I guess what I would love to hear from you is: If you have had success with your young teenagers, what was it that gave them this reassurance? And for those of us who may be experiencing similar circumstances, what are your thoughts on turning this around? So that depression and low self-esteem can be put to rest, and confidence and happiness can be restored in our future generations...
I myself found out at a young age, that no matter how many times I reinvented myself, there was still a group that wouldn't accept me or like me, and decided that if I liked me and God liked me, that even if only a few kids befriended me, it was me they were really liking and caring for, and not someone I had to work hard on being, and the truth is, that small handful of true friends I made in school are still my dear friends today... May you all have a fruitful, safe and blessed week ahead and May God continue to hold you all in His loving embrace...Patricia©