Balcony Girls: Speak up so you don't Explode!

We stepped outside onto the lawn and shook a can of soda - quickly!

And then we popped the top open. Fffzzzzzzzz............

I asked the girls if they ever get so mad at their friends that they feel they are going to explode?

Yes, that scenario was familiar to all of them!

If you can learn to stand up for yourself NOW, at the age of 12, I told the girls this week at Balcony Girls, then you are learning how to handle friends who will try to walk all over you!

My niece Lisa chimed in as well. Learn about friendships now and what it means to be true to yourself. It will save you a lot of heartache down the road.

THIS is a gift that you are giving yourself, by learning it NOW, we both agreed.

What makes us angry?
* Your friend has been telling lies about you (remember hurt people hurt people!)
* She puts you down in front of others, humiliating you
* She does things to hurt you on purpose, like gossip, mean texts or emails
* She tries to talk you into things that you know are wrong (might go against your family rules)
* She only cares what's on the outside (beauty and stuff), and not about you
* She only invites you over because she is desperate - it makes you feel used
* She embarrasses you in front of others - she points out your flaws

Speak up for yourself!
Part of staying true to who you are (how God has made you, how your parents and family members see you, how your best friend really knows you) is by learning to speak up and to stand up for yourself. To think wisely before you speak (so you won't regret your words later), and at the same time to defend the innate dignity within yourself.

Stand up for yourself!
Maybe you're dealing with a mean girl, a situation that you know is not right, so you start thinking of reasons why you shouldn't stand up for yourself. These fears are real but you have to push past them! You might be thinking:

* She will get mad at me
* She will spread more gossip about me
* I hate conflict! It's hard!
* I don't want to hurt her feelings

Talk it out
Find a friend to talk to, or maybe your mom or a teacher. I told the girls to come to me!

You have to talk. You might even have to confront. And you have to respect yourself enough to do these things so you DO NOT EXPLODE inside with anger (again saying something that you might regret later).

My niece Lisa brought a fantastic craft for the girls this week. She brought large cotton laundry bags that she put the girls' names on - and then each girl decorated their own bag.

Take a jar - paint around the rim and stamp the bag for circles

Original ideas

Personality comes out in their art

12-year-old girl-chatter

Home run snack

Two pans devoured rather quickly

I learn so much myself by having this Balcony Girls group, by opening my home and reaching out to these girls.

The beauty of this group is that there are no expectations.

Except to learn, have fun, and to have a good snack.

How easy is that?

(Yes, I will post the easy snack recipe soon!)


Jackie said...

Such a great post! I have a daughter who will turn 12 in April and we have had the same conversations. She is very strong and does speak out for herself (and others), which makes me SO happy, since I've never been able to do that. I love that we're teaching our girls to be strong and confident!

Domestically Sassy! said...

I'm thinking this would be a great exercise for my two daughters!! Love the soda idea!

Kirstin said...

That's great. My oldest cannot stand the "girl" drama that goes on sometimes and thankfully she talks very openly to me and we encourage her to talk to her friends as well.

Can't wait for the snack recipe!!! Sounds good.

Kristen said...

This would make a great lesson for my college aged girls Bible study! Thanks for sharing all the details!

Sandy Toes said...

You have me thinking...how do you get your topics????
sandy toe

ellen b. said...

What a great conversation to have and what a fun craft!

Andrea said...

Sandy, what you are doing with these girls is priceless. The lessons they will learn will be so valuable to them!! I am dying to know if/when you are going to write a book on "Balcony Girls" because I will be the first in line to buy it!! I have three girls and I would love to do a group like this with them and their friends!!

Sarah said...

I've wanted to do a group like Balcony Girls for awhile with my second grade daughter. After seeing your posts, I made it a priority, and our first group is on Monday!!! We are going to have a scavenger hunt that leads to St. Patrick's Day themed Rice Krispie Bars, decorate journals, and talk about what it means to be a friend. I'm so excited! Thank you for your inspiration!!!

Anonymous said...

I would love to start a group like this too with my nieces but I also think that I would like to be a part of yours. :-)

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

I love that you do this for young girls! Even big girls need these lessons!

Love it!


Melanie Dorsey said...

What a great craft idea.
When my 19 yr. old daughter was younger (ms/hs) she was on the receiving end of a couple of "mean girls."
I applaud your ministry to these sweet young girls.

Kimba said...

What a powerful, life-changing lesson you taught these girls. This is the kind of less that could affect the rest of their lives.

Since I'm reading Paul's book right now, this topic has been on my mind lately. Teaching our young people to stand up for themselves and others in a God-pleasing way is perhaps one of the most important things we can teach them.

This lesson is universal and lots of adults could use a refresher. You are doing such a great thing for these girls.


Betsy said...

Oh that we all learned these lessons when we were 12 years old!

Rindy R said...

What a great lesson - even for 38 year old mommies!

Laura said...

Another great lesson Sandy, awesome!!

Mind Your Manors said...

Wow! I hope that I can have a group of Balcony girls one day...not for me to teach, but to learn from! What amazing girls they are!

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

Oh Sandy...how I wish we lived in the same neighborhood! Love what you're doing with these girls!! We love having our kid's friends over - you find out so much about them just letting them chat - you are so right!!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thank you!

OKGardners said...

It's so nice to see this girls growing up and learning the IMPORTANT things in life.

BTW, we had Barney Butter sandwiches recently and enjoyed them!

Betty in Oklahoma
Barney Butter Winner

PJ said...

Where was this sort of thing when I was growing up! Take a bow and listen for the standing ovation!

Lorna said...

Enjoyed reading about your trip to Ireland - let me know if you ever return (live about 50 miles from Dublin) out in the sticks!
Am just in from feeding the calves with the kids, we enjoy doing that at the weekends.

Love the picture of the turtle!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Sandy, what a great thing you are doing for these girls. It is so needed with all the pressures that teens face today to blend in & go along. What a great role model you are. xo

Jen said...

yes i need that snack recipe......great points on mean girls..even big girls need to hear this..

Christine said...

I just love what you are doing for these young ladies! They will look back on these lessons and know how to handle themselves in difficult situations.
We all can learn.
Thanks for sharing with us.

Meme said...

Thank you for posting on this topic, and I think it is timely for any age. The drama seems to start at even younger ages today and goes beyond into adulthood. It is a great reminder to us mommas as well that our daughters follow our lead and are always watching how we treat others.

Stephanie said...

Great post !! The soda idea is awesome !! Thanks loads :)

The Nester said...

Love the post. Love the ministry you have with your balcony girls. Love you! I think so many issues would be resolved if people would just go right to the source and talk about whatever it is they have a problem with.

I hope if anyone has an issue with me they will come right to me with it. Everyone deserves that. And everyone deserves to be heard.

Have a great weekend!

Grace said...

i'm guilty of bottling up a lot of emotion, though it's not usually aimed at my friends. i think i'm just too easily annoyed. :)

Amparo said...

Llevo mucho tiempo entrando en tu blog, es precioso, no se mucho ingles asi que, muchas cosas no las entiendo, felicitarte, me encanta todo lo que haces, me gustaría que pudieras añadir a tu página un traductor de google asi no me perderia nada.
Un beso

Maureen said...

As a former middle school teacher and administrator, I only wish every girl had an opportunity to be part of such a wonderful group. I love this age, and I hope to do something similar when my baby becomes this age. Thanks again for the inspiration.

Jessica said...

What a great idea for the bags. I love the circles! Super cute!!

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Love the soda idea and all the lessons learned! =)

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing with all of us......I really enjoy reading your blog.......it's like having a tall drink of water on a simmering hot day.......so refreshing....

A Stone Gatherer said...

I so needed to read that post myself! I love that you do this! It get's me excited about teaching the girls I work with, helping them navigate through life, reminding them of God's ways! Thanks so much!!

Domestic Chicky said...

And that is reason #5,352 I wish you lived next door to me - xoxo!

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Sandy,
Boy, I wish I had known a cool mom like you when I was a kid! Now I'm sharing this post with my 13-year old daughter.

Great examples, good conversations. Excellent post, my friend. :)

Ms. Tee said...

What a great lesson! And the laundry bag craft is fun & so practical. :) Can't wait to see that recipe!

see you there! said...

As always, the lessons you teach the Balcony Girls are important ones. They are lessons some of us Older Girls could do well to remember too.


Holly said...

Thanks for this post. I had my 11-soon-to-be 12 year old read it with me. Thank you for creating conversations that may be difficult to bring up on our own. I always look forward to what lesson we can learn next!

RefreshMom said...

Your "balcony girls" times remind me of some of the days I spent working with young college women in leadership. (They were the guinea pigs for my first books.) Most of them are married with families of their own; many serving the Lord in some capacity. It's such a blessing to hear from them of their memories of those days and their testimonies of how their lives were touched.

I hope you're compiling all of these experiences so you can share them with other women who have a great group of gals they're guiding.

btw--I'd live to have you join us now and then for Ruby Tuesdays now and then; your blog really epitomizes the kinds of things it represents.