Hellooo, Tribelet of Mini-Women! Welcome back to the newly combined Wednesdays with Nancy and Tween You and Me blog. To answer the question that comes up a lot — no, Tween You and Me isn’t gone forever. This is the NEW Tween You and Me. Soon the banner will show that so nobody’s confused.
For the next several months we’ll be talking about Friendship Flubs and boys issues (as in, why are they absurd little creeps sometimes?) and the bullying we see and experience. If you want to submit question for us to discuss, please do in your comment.
Last week we got into what to do if your friends don’t seem to give a hoot about what you say. Since then, OLIVIA told us that one friend she and her sister share just wants to talk about StarWars, and suddenly that’s all her sis can talk about too. ASHLYN ‘fessed up that sometimes SHE can be the friend who talks too much. Now that she knows that, she’s started asking people questions to make sure they get to do their fair share of the talking. ASHER says she tends to avoid talking about things her friends have really strong opinions about — and aren’t going to change their minds on — so they don’t argue. That’s one of the things I like so much about this group: you all help each other.
Our question for this week is this one: what do you do when your friends are acting way older than they are, and you feel totally left out?
ASHER says she has definitely come across people who try to act grown-up, like swearing and telling inappropriate jokes. Anybody else had that experience?
* Here’s the thing about that: using bad language and telling dirty jokes doesn’t make a person a grown-up. In fact, the more mature a person is, the LESS she cusses and tells stories that make everybody’s face turn red.
* Can you change them? No. So what DO you do? When that starts happening, don’t make a big deal out of it. Just quietly walk away if you can. Never, ever laugh or join in just to feel like you belong. Seriously, is that where you WANT to belong? In the potty-mouth group?
HALLE BELLE says sometimes the girls in her PE class — girls older and her own CFFs — talk about things she doesn’t usually talk about EVER. Anybody else been there?
* Here’s the thing about that: choosing adult topics doesn’t make people adults. The more mature a person is, the better she knows what she knows. Does that make sense? The wisest people stick to what they actually understand. Pretending to be grown-up doesn’t make you that way.
* Can you change them? No. So what DO you do? If they aren’t necessarily your friends, just walk away if you can, or if you can’t, think about tacos. If they’re your CFFs, it’s okay to say something like, “Should we even be discussing this? I don’t think we know what we’re talking about.” You’ll probably find that someone else in the group feels the same way and is way grateful that you spoke up. If your friends look at you weird and go back to what they were saying, it might be time to scope out new friends.
EVE says she’s been struggling since sixth grade with her friends wanting to stand around and talk, while she still wants to run around and play. She wants to be a kid! Does that sound like you?
*Here’s the thing about that: everybody matures at different rates. You wanting to play like the kid you are doesn’t make you immature.
* Can you change them? No. So what DO you do? Be who you are. Still, stick around once in a while to see what they’re talking about. You might find out you’re interested.
MARYBETH says the hardest thing for her is that all her friends have iPhones and iPads and she doesn’t, so in their eyes she is “uncool.” They’ve stopped hanging out with her as much, which hurts. Have you felt her pain?
* Here’s the thing about that: what you own SHOULDN’T determine who your friends are, but unfortunately not everybody sees it that way. They’re showing THEIR immaturity by making a cell phone and a tablet a requirement for friendship.
* Can you change them? No. So what DO you do? I’m pretty sure not EVERY kid your age has all that stuff. Maybe you can look around for people who DON’T have their faces glued to a tiny screen all the time. Perhaps you could have a no-tech party or sleepover and invite your friends to come without their devices — making sure you have some fun stuff planned to do. It won’t hurt to show them that cool things can happen even without texting and the Internet.
I hope that helps. I really do remember what it was like to be the last girl to get interested in boys — to still be wearing puffy sleeves when everybody else was dressing like a teenager — to secretly still enjoy my dolls when the other girls were falling in love with the Beatles (they were a rock group …) I didn’t know how to be anybody other than me, and somehow that just worked out.
I think that even though I didn’t know it, that was a God-thing. It can be for you too. In fact, it already is.
What will we talk about next week? Drum roll, please: WHAT DO WE DO IF WE FIND OURSELVES GOSSIPING? A LOT? If you ever struggle with that, tell us how. We’ll get WAY into that on Wednesday, January 27. Can’t wait!
Blessings, Nancy Rue