We are reveling in the long summer days with our 170 campers. Our girls have been playing GLI games, learning leadership skills, taking leaps on the high ropes course, navigating white water rapids, expressing themselves through various art media (dance, photography, silent film, and poetry, among others), and enjoying old-fashioned summer camp activities. We look forward to sharing their work with you in the coming months.
We were blown away by Erin’s This I Believe essay — read it below to catch a glimpse of the GLI magic. Then check out our advice on how to respond to an apology. Our Girl Find this month is the new book Bullied. We know this book will help families facing relational aggression know they are not not alone. For a daily dose of GLI inspiration, join us on Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
All my best,
“This I Believe”: Words from Camp
When I was three, I started to walk down the stairs in high heels. Of course, I fell and I probably hit my head a thousand times on the way down. And there I was crying, eyes puffed up and red, never perfect. Hit my head a thousand times after that, falling off beds and jumping off sofas. Hit my head a thousand times and made a million mistakes. I have never been perfect. I have never once wanted to be perfect. I have never wanted to match myself or anything else around me. In fifth grade I stopped wearing matching socks. In sixth grade I realized how much I hate even numbers. In seventh grade I pierced one of my ears and left the other one fully intact. I believe that asymmetry is good and that imperfection is a gift. I believe in off numbers and opposites, in things that are different. Click here to read more!
This Month’s Girl Find: Join Team Bullied and End the Cycle of Fear
What started out as one blogger’s vent about her first-grade daughter’s heartbreak at being bullied for liking Star Wars became an overnight Internet phenomenon and an extraordinary illustration of the power of community. Now, in an effort to help the many children and adults who are caught in the cycle of bullying, Carrie Goldman has written a book titled Bullied—an eye-opening, prescriptive, and ultimately uplifting guide to raising diverse, empathetic, tolerant kids in a caring and safe world. To coincide with the book’s release, an official online Team Bullied community is being built, in which people can share their experiences with bullying and give advice on how to create a culture of acceptance and respect.
Our own Director of Programs, Kiku Johnson, has contributed her story of how she was targeted and bullied for 7 years by other kids in every setting and every season, and how she learned to affirm who she is: smart, skilled, and able to be an advocate not only for herself but also for the other perceived underdogs around her. Everyone has a story to tell; here is your chance. Tell your story, whether you have been a bully or a target, a parent of a suffering child, or a teacher who has witnessed peer victimization. Healing is found in telling your story and sharing your strength.
Send a message to others in your situation: “You are not alone.” Join Team Bullied and end the cycle of fear.
Is Someone Sorry? Say “Thanks” Instead of “It’s Okay”
But is it? And what message do we send when we automatically tell someone it is? Girls seem especially determined to reassure others that everything is okay in the face of an apology. That’s because girls often use apologies to repair relationships. “I’m sorry” means “Can we still be friends? Is everything okay between us?” It’s not that remorse isn’t there, but that the fear of losing the relationship is overwhelming. The recipient of the apology says “It’s okay” to signal her affirmation that the relationship has not been broken.
The problem is that saying something is okay when it isn’t has two costs: first, you might feel resentful afterwards because you’re not being honest in the moment. That will damage the relationship in more subtle ways.
Second, if you’re always saying “It’s okay” to a repeat offender, she might get the impression that she can do or say whatever she wants. Too many “okays,” and you may be letting someone walk all over you. At GLI, we suggest saying “Thanks” instead. This way, you get to have your cake and eat it, too: you can acknowledge what happened without erasing it, but still say something positive and warm.
Try it at home, and let us know how it goes!