Claire, the well-spoken teen who appears with author, expert and founder of Girls Leadership Institute, Rachel Simmons in this Tedx Women Talk, beautifully describes the irrational acts of exclusion and the fallout of real pain due to bullying in middle school.
Rachel goes on to talk about the inner resume. Although I had never heard that term, it’s a great one. We can either add to the proud inner resume of a person or diminish it and make someone feel worthless.
She also talks about the classroom of relationships. Another great term. When hearing it, it reminded me of all those times my kids talked to me about relationships. It’s a hard thing for a parent. Sometimes you feel like you should let them alone to figure it all out — but other times, you feel like this is a teachable moment being handed to you.
I think the world has gotten a little harsher. Although I was a little unsure at the time, I’m happy that when they talked to me about something callous that a “friend” had done, that I called it out. I didn’t say it was ok. I didn’t say “you’re being too sensitive.” I said it was bad. It’s not that the person was evil but it was a bad thing to do. It’s not ok to do or say something harsh and feel normal about it.
Sounds simplistic but I think that’s part of the message. As parents, teachers, and mentors, we have to understand the power of the “relationship classroom.” Kids are watching, learning, listening all the time. Eventually they will be talking to their own kids and remembering the time that you called out mean behavior and my guess is, they will do the same for their own kids.
We are helping them build up their inner resume and reminding them that they have no right to diminish someone else’s resume or have their own resume damaged in any way. That’s power.