Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Balcony Girls: Sweet and Sour Words

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but I'm loving the Balcony Girls materials and walking along this journey with a special group of girls.  Our meeting topic on Monday was gossip.  Whooza.  If that doesn't hit home with a group of preteen girls (and their leader), I don't know what would. 

Junior high can be rough.  The comments and rumors that go around in a typical day can eat away at a young girls self esteem. My goal for this meeting was to help the girls stop the gossip and to help them think of ways that they could end a conversation that was going "sour" easily.

We played the game "telephone" while the girls were working on their fleece blankets for badges and it was hilarious the way the words changed as girls whispered ear to ear.  I think at one time the phrase was "I like kicking soccer balls" and by the end of the line, the new phrase was " Cantaloupe is a yellow fuzzy ball."  Nothing like seeing how words can get mixed up as they spread.

What I really enjoyed was seeing the heart of these girls; they get it. They know that words can hurt and that half of what they "hear" at school is nothing but gossip and false truths.  It's hard to see through gossip when you are eleven years old because it sounds so fun and innocent, but these girls really grasped how much it can be sour.  They grasp how words can pierce and things can quickly snowball out of control  Many have been on the bad end of the gossip and hurtful words.  Each girl had great ideas on how to stop a bad conversation and how what might sound like caring is really gossip.  These balcony girls have deep insight.

I loved it when the girls asked if that's why the snack was Dreamsicle Slushes since they were both sweet and sour; just like gossip.  Words that might sound sweet and really meant to be sour.  Are these girls the best or what.

To keep it real, they did complain a little this week.  They couldn't believe that I expected them to cut out their own fleece blankets. They thought I would do the hard work for them like I have before. I told them I full trust in them that they could lay it out, pin it, cut it and tie the knots.  I believed in them.

I think it was my own daughter who said that I sounded so sweet saying it like they were growing up, but it was a little sour that they then had to do all the work! Love these girls.

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