Mom As Your Ally, Part 2

SNS-2 Hey, Tribelet, and welcome to Wednesdays With Nancy, where we talk about everything that has to do with respecting the dignity of every human being (even brothers and other absurd little creep boys!) — especially when it comes to bullying. Whether you’re bullied yourself, you tend to be mean to someone, you’re seeing bullying going on and don’t know what to do about it, or you want to be ready in case any of those things happens (big breath!) this blog is for you. It goes along with the So Not Okay website, and it’s your place to meet challenges, win points for prizes, and be a part of our Tribelet.

I’m away at a writer’s conference this week (way fun for me!) but I still wanted to keep you going on our challenge to make moms our allies as we face a new school year that may have respecting-dignity problems in it, waiting for us.

So far, ANA has won 5 points for her Tribelet (bringing them to 40!) by doing for her mom what she’d like her mom to do for her. She helped, listened and sympathized with her mum — and who doesn’t want THAT, right?  KAYLEE is working on a whole list. When you’ve done something for your mother that you’d sure love if she did it for you, let us know in a comment and earn 5 points — and make a huge difference in Mama’s life.

What happens when you do that? It brings you and your mom closer together. She realizes you’re growing up. That you aren’t just taking the love and running. And, most of all, that you respect her. Without that, there’s no mom-as-ally.

And you need her.

We’ve talked about what TO do. Now let’s look at what NOT to do when it comes to making your relationship with your mom-parent better. This is a weird thing about families, but it’s often true: we sometimes act our worst with the people who love us most.

Take my granddaughter for example. She was with me all afternoon yesterday and she was, like, perfect.   doing dishesI mean, look at this. She’s doing DISHES! But when her mom came, and it was time to sit down to supper, she pitched a fit for no apparent reason. Mommy is the one person she can do that with and know for absolute certain she’ll still be taken care of and loved. (I would do that too, but I’m not with her every day so she doesn’t have total proof of that. Make sense?)

Moms sometimes do the same thing. Your friend comes over and puts her feet on the furniture and your mom says to her, “Honey, let’s take our shoes off, okay?” You do it and she says, “What is WRONG with you? Get your dirty feet off the couch!”

It happens, but it shouldn’t be that way all the time. The people we love — especially our moms — deserve the best of us.

So here’s your challenge for this week (and again, this is to get your relationship with your mom in shape so you can face the new school year as allies). Do these 2 things and tell us about it — and earn 5 points:

Think of one way that you are not-so-nice to your mom (if not outright mean). 

Do you pull attitude when she tells you to clean up your room or pick up your  stuff or give your little sister a bath? Mutter under your breath as you’re walking away after she’s called you on something? Roll your eyes when she says something she thinks is funny? Give her the silent treatment when you don’t get your way? Do that thing that annoys her — on purpose, just to get on her last nerve? Accuse her of not being “fair”, when what you really mean is that her decision isn’t what you want? Something else?

What can you do about that?

    Apologize to her the minute you do it? Tell her you’re going to work on that? Catch yourself the next time you start to and NOT do it?

You’ll never be a perfect daughter. Nobody is a perfect anything. But taking baby steps babystepsWILL bring you closer to a friendship with your mom you can rely on when life gets tough again soon. So face those challenges, Tribelet, and share the results with us. Can’t wait to hear!

Blessings, Nancy Rue, the Eldest of the Tribelet Elders!

Advertisements

MAKING MOM YOUR ALLY: Part 1, On the Same Side

mj at 36Hellooooo, Tribelet, and welcome to Wednesday Afternoon! Yikes, it won’t be long before we’re calling this After School Wednesdays again. I’m thinking the topic we’re talking about right now is coming right on time. Let’s get our relationships with our moms in good shape before the homework and the lessons and the activities and the more-people-in-your-face things crop up again, yes?

Before we do that, though, I want to make sure you all know how many points you have as you move toward a Skype or phone session with me. You’ll have a chance to add more with this week’s challenge, so let’s see where you are now:

NIMI 15     HALLE BELLE  50     EVE  35   ANA’S TRIBELET 35  

  THE LITTLEFLOWER 12   KAYLEE  47   MEDOMFO 47   ALYSSA 5  LARISSA 5  CAITLIN 5   ANNELIE  5    MEGGIEBEAR  7    KEILAH  5

If you think I have your total wrong please email me and we’ll get you straightened out. Remember, too, that this isn’t a competition. It’s just motivation for you to put into practice the things we talk about here, about respecting the dignity of every human being, especially when it comes to the issue of bullying.

Now — how to earn more points and make your mom your ally at the same time.

In your GREAT comments on last week’s post, you shared where you are on the Mom Relationship scale. Some of you are blessed enough to have 4 and 4.3 and 4.5 friendships with your mothers. Awesome. I pray a lot that every mini-woman can have that. I did with my daughter (who, as you can see, is totally grown up now and is still my CFF), but I didn’t with my own mom. I know both ends of the scale, just like MELLE does.

   We also had some 2s, and that’s hard. Nobody who reported being there with their moms said that was okay with them. As  someone put it, “I’m sad to type a 2.” Who doesn’t want to feel comfortable talking with that important woman in your life about: what’s troubling you; puberty (which is often what’s troubling you!); what you’ve done wrong; when you’ve disobeyed; the boys you like; what worries you; who puts you down; what bothers you about HER?

Okay, so nobody’s relationship with Mama is perfect. Even those of you who reported up in the 4 range said it’s hard to talk about things like her treating you younger than you are. And of course there are some things you only want to share with God.

The one thing I can say that I hope will help you no matter where you are with your mom is this: IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW SHE’S ON YOUR SIDE . These things I know are true:

     * Your mom wants the best for you. Both the great things she does for you and the mistakes she makes with you come from that same place. Maybe she does treat you like you’re about two years younger than you are, and I’d be willing to bet that’s because she wants to keep you young and innocent so you won’t get hurt. Sometimes that’s a good thing; sometimes it isn’t. But nothing she does comes from a place of, “You know, I’m sick of this kid. I wish she’d quit bothering me.” I mean, seriously?

     * Your mom loves you no matter what you do. It may not SEEM that way when she’s just yelled at you for talking back to her, but she does NOT turn to your dad when you’re out of the room and say, “If she doesn’t shape up, I’m going to stop loving her.” Can you even imagine that?

     * Your mom may be a little scared right now. It’s been my experience that when moms are hard to talk to about puberty or boys or some new freedom you want, it’s because they’re terrified that you’re growing up. This is a big ol’ scary world sometimes and the thought of you going from that sweet baby girlfriend you used to be to the mini-woman you are and the young woman you’re becoming makes her feel a little out of control. So she tightens up. She shuts down. She probably wants an open relationship just like you do, but especially if you’re her oldest girl, she might not know how to let go a little.

You have to obey and respect her because, well, she’s your mom. It wouldn’t be a good idea to go to her and say, “Nancy Rue says you’re scared to let me grow up. Would you just chill? I’m fine!” First of all, no! And second of all, it isn’t your job to tell your mom who to be. But …

* You can let her know what kind of relationship you’d like to have. Not by saying, “Mom, I want you to listen to everything I tell you and not get mad or brush me off or tell me I’m being ridiculous. I want you to treat me like I’m 12 even though I’m 10. And could you stop asking me every ten minutes if I’ve cleaned up my room?” Do it by starting small and treating her the same way you want her to treat you. Because YOU are the only person you can change.

Isn’t that what we always say about kids who are mean? We may not be able to change their behavior but we can change ours, and often the meanness stops. If it works with THEM, why not with your mom who is NOT mean, who loves you, who wants a great relationship as much as you do. A relationship that will you help you cope with anything you have to face.

 Here’s your challenge: If you want to earn 5 points, choose one small thing you want your mom to do for YOU and do it for HER. It could be:

     *understanding — “I think I know why you’re mad, mom.” “I get why you’re upset about that.”

     * helping — “You seem stressed today, Mom. Want me to fold the laundry?”

     * listening — Rather than sighing or letting your eyes glaze over when she’s talking to you

   *  laughing – okay, so that joke she told was corny, but would it kill you to at least smile?

    *enjoying — if she’s singing in the kitchen, go join her; if she’s going to run errands ask if you can go with, and share those M&Ms you’ve been hoarding; if she’s excited about her tomato plants, help her bring in the mini-harvest and squeal with her

What do you want Mom to do for you? Do it for her. Then share it with us. As a mom, I can’t WAIT to hear!!!

  Blessings,

Nancy Rue

WHAT ABOUT THE MOMS?

mom

Helloooo, Tribelet, and welcome to Wednesdays With Nancy, where we’re all about respecting the dignity of every human being. A lot of the time that comes down to putting a stop to bullying — but more than that it means being our best selves. To. Every. One.

Even sisters. Even brothers. Even people who don’t seem to have a whole lot of respect for US. Even boys.

SPEAKING of the opposite gender, MEDOMFO, ALYSSA, EVE, KAYLEE and NIMI were all inspired by the video about the group of, yes, boys, who didn’t just stand up for a kid who was being bullied. They made him part of their group. Almost all of you said, “Who knew boys could actually be kind?”

You, of course, are all working on your respecting skills, and I hope you’ll let us know when you’ve met your “stop gossiping” challenge. I know MEGGIE BEAR, KAYLEE, KEILAH, EVEN, ADIE, ANA and HALLE BELLE are still working on that. If you missed that challenge, just click here and you can catch up.

While we’re on the subject of meeting challenges, one of you has reached 50 points!!! Congrats HALLE BELLE! She added 5 points by standing up for her cousin with Down Syndrome and that took her to 50. email me   Halle Belle and we’ll set up your Skype or phone call. You’ve worked hard and made a difference in other people’s lives. That’s what we’re talkin’ about.

One of the things I love about our Wednesday community is that we’re here for each other. I do want to say two things on that topic, though:

     (1) Since this blog is about a particular thing, let’s limit our comments to the challenge or whatever is in red in the post. If you’d like to ask for prayer or keep us posted on your health, you are more than welcome to do that on the Tween You and Me blog, which I think all of you are familiar with.

     (2) We talk a lot about having grown-ups to help us with these really hard things we’re trying to do, but we might be missing a person who is ALWAYS there.

I got this idea from our wonderful Elder Melle’s six-year-old daughter. Remember her from the picture of the Mini-Tribelet a couple of posts ago? Izzy with buttonThe two of them were talking about feelings (what a great mom MELLE is!) and here’s what happened, in Melle’s words:

     “I mentioned how I am so glad that we can talk about these things, because I couldn’t do that with my mom. She immediately said, ‘Yeah, I think we’re special like that, like I can even tell you when I don’t like you very much and you are okay with it if I’m just reporting. You should do that with SO not Okay. You and Nancy could teach kids how to talk talk to parents about their feelings.’ She requested that I email you.”

She is right ON, isn’t she? What we’re trying to do here on So Not Okay is really hard sometimes, and even with all the things we offer on the webpage and the books and our blog, the Tribelet Elders aren’t in your house, available to you in the middle of the night or before you go to sleep or at four o’clock in the afternoon when you’re having a meltdown because somebody’s being mean.

You mom IS there.

The trouble with that is that this is also the time in your life when you’re probably pulling away from your mom a little in healthy ways. That’s normal. But it can make it tough to turn to her when you do need her. And you do.

So let’s spend a couple of Wednesdays talking about how you can make your mom your ally in this hard stuff of respecting the dignity of difficult people. Sound good?

There will be new challenges for earning points, but for this week, why don’t we see where you are.

      (1) On a scale of one to five, with 5 being “really close” and 1 being “we barely speak”, what is your relationship with your mom like?

     (2) Then, if you want to, tell us more about the things you can and can’t talk about with Mom. This isn’t an invitation to parent-bashing. It’s more like, “this is good — and I wish this was better.” Then maybe I can help you get where you want to be.

And let’s hear a big old thank you to our Mini-Mascot!

Blessings, Nancy Rue

THIS Is What We’re Talking About

power to be Helloooo, Tribelet! Welcome to Wednesdays with Nancy, where we talk not only about bullying and what to do about it, but also about how to respect the dignity every human being. I’m thinking Miss Melle’s newest piece of artwork for the So Not Okay movement says it all, doesn’t it? I totally want that on a t-shirt. Hmmmm … a thought.

You’re on your way to doing that respecting thing — especially these Tribelet Members who are taking last week’s challenge to try the suggestions:

KAYLEE, KEILAH, ANA, ADIE, THELITTLEFLOWER, HALLE BELLE, EVE with their siblings

MEDOMFO with her classmates

HALLE BELLE also with a friend

If you want to earn your 5 points, be sure to comment on how it turned out — whether you felt a change (in you OR that person) or not. It doesn’t have to “work”. You just need to try. That’s all any of us can do.

That’s what a group of boys (yes — I said boys …) did when they saw a kid in their class — who was “difficult” — being bullied. While we’re waiting for you to post the results of last week’s challenge, I thought you’d like seeing how it turned out for them.

Just  click here to see the video. Then tell us if it inspired YOU to do the same for that difficult person in your life. Will you answer this question HONESTLY? Do you think you could do what they did — or would it be way too hard? It’s okay to say “too hard.” Then we’ll know where we need to go next, right?

Thanks for being who you are.

Blessings, Nancy Rue, the Eldest of the Elders!

An Update from Elder Melle

Untitled_Artwork(43)Hello Tribelet! I just wanted to let you all know that I FINALLY updated the Code, Pledge Cards, and Code cards to make them look more like our awesome JTT site, and easier (hopefully) for you to print. You can find them here! Thanks so much for all of your feedback! Please know that your voices are heard. Love and Light- Elder Melle

Beating Bullying … Without BEING a Bully

mini-TribeletHelloooooo, Tribelet!!!! Will you give a shout-out to our NEWEST TRIBELET? Well, it’s kind of a mini-tribelet: my four-year-old granddaughter (on the left)  and her two CFFs. (Close Friends Forever) I’m thinking it’s never too soon to join with other mini-women and stand up together to whatever comes along — especially bullying. (More about the Tribelet member on the right in a later post)

 Back to THIS Tribelet. A couple of things first:

     1. Never worry about your comments being too long. If you’re staying on the topic in red, you can write as much as you need to. It shows that you’re really giving this some thought.  

     2. ANA has met her anti- gossiping challenge, so she gets 5 points. Way to go, ANA! And speaking of ANA and ADIE, I didn’t want to tell that last week’s pic was of them because I hadn’t asked for permission, but since ANA told us in her comment — that was our precious Sister Tribelet. You are ALL so beautiful. If you want YOUR picture posted with your pledge card — or doing any other anti-bullying activity — just email me and I’ll make that happen. Just let me know if it’s okay to include your name — that means, ask your mom or dad.

     3. HALLE BELLE is almost there with her anti-gossiping challenge. When you get there, HALLE BELLE, you’ll have 50 POINTS — which means a Skype or phone session with me! Go, mini-woman!

Now, on to your comments from last time. HALLE BELLE took the words right out of my fingers when she said, “Everyone is giving great advice!” I KNOW, right? I was SO impressed with:

     EVE          ANA         HALLE BELLE          KEILAH         KAYLEE

KAYLEE even included some of the Code Cards. After I read all that you’d posted, Tribelet, I was all grinning and proud. You’re getting this, and because you are. you’re making this world a better place, one person at a time.

And in this case, a bossy person!

As HALLE BELLE said, there is so much great stuff in your responses, so I’ve put the very best of it together in an approach that will, I think, help you tons with the BOSSY people in your life:

     NOTE: As EVE said, do all the following calmly, and if it doesn’t work, walk away silently. And as ANA pointed out, talk to the bossy girl alone, not in front of other people, although if you’re afraid of her, take KAYLEE’s advice and be “Safer in a Group.” That means, bring another Tribelet member with you.

       IF SHE’S YOUR FRIEND: Say, “So, um, I’m feeling kind of bossed around right now.  Could we just, like, not tell each other what to do? I’m in if you are.”

      Then agree to use a signal when the bossy behavior starts to happen. Tugging on your ear lobe. Scratching your nose. Signing it in sign language. That way you don’t have to keep saying it, which turns YOU into the bossy one, right?

     IF SHE’S NOT YOUR FRIEND: (said with a smile, not sarcasm) “Actually, I already have a mom, but thanks for the input.”

     Then turn away and get  back to whatever you were doing. If you’re stuck in the situation, refuse to respond to her bossy-ness any more.

     A few more things:

     * Should you, as KAYLEE suggested, “try to get down to the culprit of what is making her be bossy”? If she’s your friend, yes. Absolutely. If not, it MIGHT be worth asking a grown-up what she thinks about it (not your friends — that can turn into gossip). Understanding could help you in staying calm. Don’t try to change a bully, though. The way you respond to her may change her – but mostly, you’re changing YOU.

     * Should you involve an adult? Only if the girl (or boy!) is being physical with you — like punctuating that command with a shove. In that case, go directly to a grown-up. If not, this is something you (and your Tribelet) can handle on your own because it’s a matter of giving your one-liner and turning away. The less of a big deal you make out of it, the more likely that bossy person is to give up giving your orders.

Let’s review the things in pink. 

     * Stay calm

     * Don’t embarrass the person who’s bossing you around

     * Take your friends with you if you’re nervous to be alone with her

     * If it’s a friend, tell her how YOU feel, not what SHE’s doing wrong

     * If it’s a friend make a stop-bossing agreement that applies to both of you. Arrange a non-verbal signal

     * If it’s not a friend, deliver a one-liner with a smile, not sarcasm

     * Then turn away

     * In either case, don’t make a huge deal out of it.

The one thing all these suggestions have in common is this:

Whenever you’re trying to stop any kind of bad behavior, don’t use that behavior yourself. 

Let’s practice with that. If you’d like to earn 5 points, try this:

    1. Choose one thing somebody in your life does that makes you crazy, irritates the fire out of you, makes you want to spit (you get the idea)

     2. Decide how you can use the suggestions on the pink list above. This will depend on whether the person is a friend/family member or someone else you have to deal with a lot.

      3. Try it just once

     4. Tell us (in a comment) how it goes. Whether it “works” is less important than how YOU felt when you did it. How was YOUR behavior?

Can’t WAIT to hear, Tribelet. You Rock!

Blessings,

Nancy Rue, the eldest of the Elders!