09 Oct 2006 Dealing with Difficult Girls
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*One in five girls will experience some sort of domestic violence by the time they graduate from HS (family or on a date). These girls are dramatically more at risk for suicide, eating disorders, drug usage.
*If one is female and under 18 years of age, one is more at risk to be the victim of a violent crime than anyone else in America.
*Parents are busy and more stressed than ever … The average mother talks a mere 7 minutes a day to her teenager; the average dad only 5 minutes.

Today was the last day of the National Youth Workers Convention. I had the opportunity to go to Kerry Loescher’s seminar about “Dealing with Difficult Girls.” God has put a passion in my heart for girls. So I was looking forward to this session all weekend long. One thing I didn’t think would happen at the session was that I learned a personal lesson for myself. We talked about all the different types of girls in each clique and how girls relate, both positively and negatively with each other. The thing that got me the most (where I learned my own lesson) is in “Forms of Aggression.” Here’s the notes from that section:

Forms of Aggression:
Relational – acts that harm others through damage (or threat of damage) to relationships of feelings of acceptance, friendship, or group inclusion. The relationship becomes the weapon. Most of the time the silent treatment is used for this.
Indirect – allows the perpetrator to avoid confronting the target. It is covert behavior in which the perpetrator makes it seem as though there has been no intent to hurt at all. Uses other people to inflict pain on the target. Such as rumors.
Social – intended to damage self-esteem or social status within a group. This is usually in the form of put-down cloaked in humor followed by “just kidding.” i.e. “OMG you are so stupid! Just kidding, J/K J/K.” These statements are really hurtful.

Kerry went on to tell us that we need to teach these girls how to talk out conflict with the person they are in conflict with instead of running away from the problem and “forgetting” about it. For girls it is really hard to forget a conflict that you’ve had with someone. I know this from experience. So while Kerry is telling me this I’m thinking to myself, “Man, I wish I had someone to teach me about this.” So many times girls will get in a fight/conflict and their relationship is over. When a relationship is healthy there is still conflict, but there is also the knowledge of how to talk through and solve the conflict. With being a newlywed there are little conflicts that come up with learning how to be with someone all the time. But Tim and I have learned how to communicate through these times, and we know that no matter what happens we still love each other and are going to give our all to our marriage and friendship. I have only had a small amount of friendships with girls that have this type of commitment. And I am sorry to say that I have lost a lot of friendships because we never learned how to face our conflict and it seemed easier to run away and “forget” about what happened.

Knowing how much of an impact it would have made in my life even now if someone would have taught me earlier in life how to handle conflict, I really want to be able to do this for the girls that God puts in front of me to minister to.

There are a lot more wonderful things that I learned about in this seminar, but most of it I need to read over and meditate on and start putting into practice with youth ministry.

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