I’ve been reading a book titled Reviving Ophelia- Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, and I haven’t been able to put it down, reading it every chance I have.
It’s written by Mary Pipher who is a clinical psychologist with a Ph.D, and who has treated young women for over 20 years for problems above and beyond their mental abilities. In other words, our children in today’s world are battling problems we wouldn’t believe because we don’t realize them.
I can remember when I was a young teenager. Unfortunately, I can relate to some of the teenagers Mary speaks of in her book. I wish I would have had access to this book when I was facing the issues, but to be honest, I would not have paid it any mind because while I loved to read and learn new things (mostly self-taught), it looks like another school reference book and uninteresting to a young teenage girl who prefers to read books like The Babysitter’s Club, and Goosebumps.
I’ve found reading Reviving Ophelia to be like reading anything from Chicken Soup for the Soul; understanding and inspirational. I wish I would’ve also had more access to Chicken Soup for the Soul during my youth because I might not have been so lost finding my way.
I couldn’t talk to anyone in school because my fellow classmates were either judging me and teasing me based on my outward appearance, overall quietness, and for the one person I did hang out with. I didn’t want a lot of friends, but I wanted to at least establish an acquaintanceship with them. In reality, we were all facing the same unknown territory–peer pressure and growing up. We were no longer children, but we weren’t adults either, and our parents were just as lost as we were because even the world they knew as children had changed.
For example, I’ve mentioned several times in the past about how grateful I am for Georgia Cyber Academy and the online K12 program. Kids are mean, vicious, and judgmental, but the problem isn’t with the kids, it’s in their homes where their parents or the structure is absent.
The summer before my 8th grade school year, we moved to the next town over, across the county line. I began the school year as a new student, but luckily with a couple new friends I’d met over the summer, down at the park, before school started. I still maintained a relationship with my best girlfriend from my old school until that changed after I moved back due to reasons outside my knowledgeable understanding, and way above my maturity level. When I moved back, I learned my best friend started a rumor about me as a way to increase her popularity points. I understand why she did it; she didn’t have any friends outside of me and her home life was confusing.
Her mother yelled at me once for not calling after she was suspended from school for a week for threatening the school system. If I’d been the one to threaten the school, my life would have been hell, as it was, her mother took her shopping at the mall everyday that week.
I didn’t have it easy at home, but I didn’t go around spreading rumors either. I decided staying to myself was a better option. That’s why I started homeschooling, because there’s not enough structural support inside the schools anymore. Every student is lost, confused on where to go and in what direction they’re going in. When grown-ups can’t help, books can–if you’re willing to read them.
Let’s listen to what our children have to say to us, then assist and educate them because they’re lost without our guidance. The world is much different from when we were growing up, but they can’t help that, they’re kids. We need to open our minds to see and understand what they see. They can’t see the world the same way we do because of their innocence. Remember that.
Thanks for reading y’all!