Last Wednesday, the girls learned about the importance of standing up for themselves by using an assertive voice and ways to constructively express their own feelings, wants and needs. The girls practice using the "I" statement: "I feel..." "When you..." Because..." "I would like for you.." We talked about how an assertive voice is one that is firm, but respectful. We demonstrated the difference between passive, aggressive, and assertive. Hopefully you hear them practicing at home too!
Our Monday practice was one of my favorites so far! Although, truly, they all have been awesome! Our topic was gossip. We started by discussing the definition of gossip. The coaches used toothpaste as a visual for gossip, we asked one girl to squirt the toothpaste out of the tube and then asked another girl to put the toothpaste back in the tube. She quickly found out that was impossible. We compared this toothpaste to gossip; once hurtful words are said, we can't take them back. The hurt feelings are already felt and trust was immediately lost. We discussed how apologizing is important and absolutely helps mend friendships, but the words were still said. We also did an activity with yarn and had each girl take a peace of the yarn and then pass it to another group member, with eventually making a spider web. We talked about how gossip spreads fast and if we tell one person, they can tell another, who tells another and it makes it very difficulty, if not impossible, to go back and figure out who all was a part of the gossip. The girls had fun role playing gossip situations. The coaches read an example out loud and then they would practice their response with their partner. One of the most powerful processing discussion was talking about how sometimes girls feel pressured to gossip because the conversation can be very exciting. Something that is minor can suddenly become quite a big deal. We can get swept up in the excitement or "drama" of the situation. One of my favorite books about gossip is Mr. Peabody's Apples by: Madonna. This book does a great job showing the impact of gossip. We ended this lesson with a fun workout. They were each encouraged to get with a partner they typically wouldn't be with; someone in a different grade level or different class. The partners then worked together to complete an outdoors scavenger hunt, their minds were very creativity!
Today we learned how to recognize bullying behaviors and what to do if they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied. The girls learned the difference between verbal, social/emotional, and physical bullying. Then they formed groups and discussed the effects of the difference types of bullying. Again, the open conversations we had together made this a powerful discussion. The girls made connections with one another and really listened to what the group members had to say. We also had a visitor today! Carly from Girls on the Run - KC came to practice with us! It was great having her join the girls during the group discussion and while they were running.
Check out some pictures below of all the fun we are having!