I usually post pictures of the girls at my speaking presentations however today I post roses of hope and encouragement. I recently spoke before a group of inner city girls and I was left with one word...wow! The director asked for my feedback and this was my response.
"Again I wish to commend you for wanting to uncover solutions as it relates to helping youths specifically our girls. As the owner of ALHsuccesslines, I have provided speaking presentations to hundreds of girls. I have partnered with such organizations as the Boys and Girls Club of America, Girl Scout chapters, church groups, etc. In these instances, the girls were attentive, respectful and eager to attain new knowledge to assist them on their road to success in life. Although I was a bit stunned by the behavior and responses from the girls at the recent bullying presentation, I am not discouraged~I believe they need the presence of positive women more than ever.
What I surmised from the interaction with the girls was that they are in "survival mode," doing whatever it takes to exist in a world that in some cases has given up on them. The girls may be lacking positive parental involvement or role models which ultimately would allow them to make better choices, they are further deficient as it relates to demonstrating effective communication skills and based on their actions, they are lacking effective coping skills-thus relying on violence and negative responses to resolve issues.
Okay so we know what some of the problems are but what can be done to offer solutions, what can be done to redirect them toward more positive outcomes? What can be done to address the unruly and disrespectful behavior extended toward the staff, their peers and guests? Here are a few of my suggestions.
Devise an agreement that each parent and child (over the age of 9) will sign. What this does is to reinforce acceptable guidelines such as no bad language, no physical contact (hitting, pushing) etc.
Devise programs that continue to address real life issues and encourage safe and open communication (topics would include coping skills, violence, how to devise vision boards, get the girls to talk about real life issues etc).
Devise programs that teach the girls life skills such as public speaking, how to set a table, how to balance a checkbook, role play how to interview for a job (it is never too early to introduce them to such important skills).
Offer certificates of achievement when they successfully complete a program. These girls need encouragement and recognition.
Every effort to save our girls is an effort to improve our world. I'm hopeful and encouraged and will surely continue to do my part to make a difference.
Thanks for reading!