Odd Girl Out

March 18, 2011

Dealing with Bullies & Cliques

by Emily Gallup, MFT

I watched the events unfold like a scene from a movie: a large group of seventh-grade girls waited at the end of the hall, whispering and giggling softly.  When a small brown-haired girl walked in through the door at the other end of the hallway they started shouting in unison, “Nerd!  Nerd!  Nerd!”  The older kids, still in their classes, looked up from their desks at the lone girl as she froze, then started to cry.  She turned and ran out the door she had just come in, shaking with humiliation and tears.  That day marked the beginning of a very lonely year for the little girl.  Kim had her thirteenth birthday party, and invited child in the class but one.  The girl’s best friends silently stared back at her when she greeted them.  She ate her lunch alone.

It took me several years to start placing myself back in my memories of those scenes.  Getting shut out by the group of girls I thought were my friends was so painful that I remember walking home from school, day after day, sobbing.  I remember wondering which of the chemicals under the bathroom sink would be the most lethal if ingested.  I was stopped by the thought of my parents, and the pain I knew they would experience if I was gone.  My parents were my salvation.  If your child is suffering through a similar situation, you can be a lifeline, too.
Continue reading » Odd Girl Out

Beyond “Just Say No”

January 28, 2011

Answering Children's Most Difficult Questions

By Emily Gallup, MFT

How old were you when you lost your virginity?

Did you ever drink alcohol when you were a teenager?

Have you ever done drugs?

Many parents face a dilemma about how honest they should be when their children ask the most difficult personal questions.  On one hand, most parents want their children to refrain from drug and alcohol use, and to wait until marriage or another steady relationship to have sex.  A dilemma arises when we, as parents, did not attain these ideals ourselves in our youth.  We become torn between a desire to afford our children with truthfulness, and a fear that our honesty may undermine our credibility and authority.  How can we ask our kids not to do things we ourselves have done?
Continue reading » Beyond “Just Say No”

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