Once my teen had this incident, I wanted to make her understand what it’s like to stay busy. To be as busy as she can where she will have no time to get into trouble. I also wanted her to remember this as a learning lesson of just what peer pressure can do. Out of my frustration, I explained to her and to the principle that she would be, in her spare time, writing words from the dictionary. As many words verbatium as she could. Even down to the way it’s pronounced. Each letter on the page had to be copied. I spent all night thinking of ways to keep her positive, but also to be accountable. Through the night, because when the heights of my anxiety are in full swing, I can’t eat or sleep well, I realized a different approach was in order. The following day as I dropped her off to the “other” school, I explained to her that instead of dictionary writing, she would be writing about anything. Pencil or pen to paper, once she starts, don’t stop. Write any word coming from her mind. If she’s bored then write it. Writing comes from the soul. It comes from the heart. Use the pinned up frustrations she has and apply it to paper. To use her time wisely and still have the freedom to express herself. She agreed and left.
Her first day was a busy day with backed up school work and didn’t have time to write. That’s okay. We try again. That evening while talking about her actions, she was still so mad and only wanted to get back at the mean girls. I prompted told her that she fell for it. They knew what they were doing and she fell for it. She was honest and they were not. There is no need to get back at anyone. She was to blame. I said let karma take care of it. Your anger towards them will serve no purpose and will only hurt her again and again in the long run. Some things in life simply aren’t worth time and effort. I could see she was not fully satisfied with my answer but instead went to bed as well as I all in hopes that tomorrow will be a better day.
Yesterday I bought poster boards, popular magazines, markers and such. My thinking was to have her create a goal board. Things she likes, hopes and dreams that she sees in vivid color. Future aspirations, fears, emotions or quotes. They all belong on the poster board.
The sissors got busy to say the least. Aimed with a goal and a stern look she got to work on it. Simple colors she liked, dresses she dreams of wearing and emotions she tries to overcome, were cut, glued and applied. During this time she handed me her notebook. She wrote. Just don’t read it out loud she said. I opened the notebook and with tears in my mind, because showing her my tears would be a cause for her not to write again, I read her delicate words. I read the words from her mind. The few sentences that stood out talked about how she knew she did wrong. She knew she followed peer pressure. She knew her parents taught her better. A beautifully written scribble explained that karma will be best. Ignore the urge to be mad. Ignore the desire for revenge and just allow herself to soak in this experience and learn from it. And to not hold on to anger. It simply isn’t worth it.
I told her I was very proud of her for allowing herself to let her energy express her emotions. I also said how much I love reading what she wrote.
I can’t fix her. I can’t make her believe just how important she is. I can’t make her see just how beautiful she truely is. But what I can do is remind her daily that she is a gift. That’s she is important. That she is worth every worry and anxiety, as a parent, I have.