"Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity." Luke 6: 37-38, The Message
When my daughter turned thirteen, she began to reveal greater and greater evidence that she was in the throws of adolescence. Some mornings we’d wake to find the little girl we’d known since birth - kind, compassionate, responsive and delightful. Other days, we’d wake to someone else. This other person looked like my daughter, but.. Read More
The all girls’ camp started off with a bang…actually, with a high-speed chase through Clarksville. We weren’t actually in the chase but it went by us…four times actually before the truck in pursuit jumped a curb and headed out of sight.
In the midst of the chase, Hannah, one of our staff members caught Cheryl, our bus driver on video. Cheryl was excitedly yelling over and over, as the driver sped past us and past us again, “He’s coming back!!!”
Melissa heard the video being played before she heard the story behind it, and was prompted to remind the girls of a passage from 1 Thessalonians that talks about a much more important return than the one we watched from the bus window... READ MORE Read More
by Sissy Goff & David Thomas
Every year, there is a YA book that takes the girl world by storm. You can name the last few: Twillight, Divergent…and now, The Fault in Our Stars.
The Fault in Our Stars is a lovely, well-written, beautiful book—and now movie— that speaks to everything that young (and sometimes old) girls love: drama, love, drama, beauty, and more drama. It nails it, in fact. And every girl between the ages of 13 and 18 I’ve (Sissy) seen in my counseling office this summer has been talking about it. One even made me sit down and watch the trailer she was so passionate about it.
A mom of an eighth grader I met with yesterday talked about how her daughter and all of her friends were “obsessed with it.” Here’s something you may or may not know. And, SPOILER ALERT, by the way. But, I believe, concerned and intentional parent important spoiler. They have sex... READ MORE Read More
Just a few weeks ago a fifteen year-old girl told me she was thinking about ending her life. She wasn’t only thinking about it. She knew how. She got the idea from youtube. And she told a group of ten other fourteen and fifteen year-old girls and me.
“It wouldn’t matter to anyone. My mom and dad would probably be relieved. My friends wouldn’t miss me. And it would open up another slot for someone to be in counseling at Daystar.”
As I looked around the room, all I could see was pain registering on every other girl’s face. Their concern—no, their fear was palpable. She, however, didn’t see it. She didn’t want to. They fell under the category of “My friends wouldn’t miss me.”
After the girl left with her very strong and kind mother, I went back to the group to talk and pray for this sad young girl. Another girl’s comment was “This is everyone’s go to these days.” And every girl with the exception of one said she had at least one friend who had considered ending her life. READ MORE Read More
Last week, we talked about the emotional world of teenage girls. Here are just a few of the statistics:
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Illicit drug use has declined significantly since its peak years in 1996 and 1997
- Alcohol use among teenagers has also decreased since that time
- Alcohol, however, is still the most widely used drug among young people
- Marijuana and tobacco use have remained the same since that time
- The use of prescription drugs such as Ritalin, Vicodin and OxyContin have increased
- The use of inhalants has increased
From Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc. (ANRED)
- The Journal of Abnormal Psychology reported that 14 to 39 percent of adolescents participate in some kind of self-harming behavior
- Eating disorders affect almost 5 percent of young women in America
- 1 percent of female adolescents are anorexic
- 1 to 3 percent of middle and high school girls are bulimic
- 15 percent of young women have unhealthy attitudes and behaviors about food
As we said before girls fall apart often from the outside in. They develop struggles such as eating disorders, self-mutilation, addictions to drugs and alcohol, and other issues as a way to numb—or control this newfound pain that feels so out of their control. Each of these issues warrants a different response, but each comes from the same source—an intense dislike, or self-hatred, of the girls themselves. How do we help, as adults who love them? READ MORE Read More
She may be a fifteen year old dressed in black who writes dark poetry and wears thick terry cloth bands on her wrists to cover the scratches she made last night with her paper clip. She may be a straight A student who uses her toothbrush to make herself throw up after every meal. She may be the girl in your Sunday School class who acts as if nothing bothers her, but you know is smoking pot on the weekends to forget about the pain in her family. Or she may be the daughter—or student—or granddaughter you see every day who has learned to say with her actions what she is terrified to communicate with her words.
In our counseling offices, if we had to name one word that girls struggle with the most—it would be self-hatred. For many girls, it begins in middle school. Up until then, they lived in a state of glorious naivete. They were unaware, for the most part, of what others thought about them, or how they were "supposed" to look…or talk…or act. Their spirits, and their confidence were unfettered. But, then, seemingly overnight, things changed. READ MORE