“PUTTING ON MY GAME FACE!” The status update glares at me.
“Ummmmm ………. Frans, what is a GAME FACE?” I innocently ask Frans – thinking it is a guy thing.
“Dunno” He’s been hanging out with Jamie too long.
“AMPED FOR CYCLING RACE TODAY – GONNA ACE IT” Luke puts.
Rosie and her clan normally put one word statuses surrounded by huggy faces, stars, big grin smilies and lot of exclamation marks – HORSERIDING!!!!!!, NETBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!, TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes when they get imaginative they add the words “I love” before the one word masterpiece.
And here, I am beginning to feel is the key to all our teen and pre-teen’s Self Esteem issues. What they are actually looking for is recognition, encouragement and acceptance from their PEER group. Mark my words, parents, family, teachers and coaches are important – but we are a very shabby second to the all important peer group.
I also think that each teen is a very very fragile eco-system in their own right What rocks one teens world tilts the other. In order for the eco-system to function all the sub-systems need to be in harmony – parents, school, friends, sport, finances, puberty, self-image and self-respect – then throw in the minefield of social networking and you have something like a firework – if something goes wrong it blows up in your face – if all the components are correct it can be a beautiful thing.
Some kids love being teased and joked with – it makes them feel part of the crowd. Others think that the same teasing is a form of bullying. Some kids like teasing others but cannot take being teased back. A kid who likes being teased will tease and will not understand what he or she is doing to their friends self-esteem.
Throw in the over-protective and interfering parent and the eco-system is going to collapse.
One parent wrote me a fantastic comment last night – I quote:
“I promise you that no matter how much you long to have the quiet, you will cry when they go. I still want to protect and tuck the in. I am proud of my “young men” yet I pray every day that the job I have done is good enough to equip them for the life that lies ahead”
The self-esteem topic is going to need homework. Lets find out from teens what boosts or bursts their self-esteem ……….. we may be shocked by the answers. From what we get from the kids we can start looking at peer groups, parent intervention, social media and the world at large.
In the meantime ……………
PUT ON YOUR GAME FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Its day 2. Have had a lot of response over the topic and will have to do more that empty my cobwebs. Have asked others to do some investigating in the topic. Most response comes from facebook. Its still a blog from the heart.