Girl Drama; reflecting outside of the box

The other day, I was talking with a friend about her concerns for her daughter and all the “girl drama” she has experienced at school.  In my “past life” as a school social worker, I would have addressed the symptom, and discussed problem solving skills, self-esteem building tips, etc.  But today as I stood there, wondering what our own family’s plan for school next year, I realized how much my thinking has changed.

Today, the “solution” lay so clearly in allowing her daughter to have balance, to have a greater experience of her true self, which is often something that needs to be done outside of the highly influential construct of school.  It was so clear to me that this is not something that can be completely accomplished through a “mother-daughter” talk, counseling, or self-esteem building activities.  Children (and everyone), simply need time and space to experience themselves, to explore their interests with breathing room, and to do so without any other outside stimulus that steers them in one direction or another.

Often school settings create a  “boiling pot” of heightened peer challenges because children are unnaturally grouped together and controlled/managed within the school system with limited adult support (spoken by someone who supports the necessity and value of public education while being realistic about its pitfalls). When our children (or we) are in the “pot”, they cannot see their authentic self as fully.  They only experience the heightened pressure of the unnatural situation.  In this case, the way too much unstructured time, too many children of the same age, and limited adult interaction intersect to create “girl drama.”

So my suggestion in that moment, was to “get her out of the pot” so she can find herself authentically, naturally.  This may not mean, “get her out of the pot” for good (though it may), but in order for us to communicate to our children that there is more to life than this drama, they need to experience it.  We can talk about our own experiences with this, and how we connected to our authentic selves, but essentially as long as we leave them in the pot, there is a limit to how much they will take in.

Instead we can gift ourselves and our children with the time and space to step off the hamster wheel, climb out of the boiling pot and breathe, connect and fully live.

A simple way that I do this with my children is to take the “day off” and go to the beach or a nature trail.  There is no agenda, no plan, simply being, exploring, discovering self, delight, passion, creativity, all of who we are and are meant to be.  While there may even be ‘drama’ there, the balance usually allows us to face it with more grace and openness.  It is this out of the box, dreamy down- time where we reconnect to our souls, that can teach us far more than any words.

And as you and your child(ren) connect more deeply with your souls, you can listen for how else you both may desire to see and live outside of the box.

2 comments to Girl Drama; reflecting outside of the box

  • jennifer

    I enjoyed this!Never understood what makes up the “girl drama”-we should have “breathing spaces”in the classrooms!

  • admin

    Thank you Jennifer! When I worked in the schools, we would set up ‘comfort corners’ which were essentially ‘breathing spaces.’ They were a very helpful daily support.

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