The Power of Unity
Everyone knows that relationships among teenagers can be completely different: from total merging into their own subgroups, in which there are usually several leaders, to bullying and not accepting someone unsuitable into their micro world, going beyond their perception or social status.
A few months ago, a new class came to our center. Children 12-13 years old. The children actively joined our volunteer program and began to regularly attend all events from 10 to 22 people at a time. The activity and energy of teenagers is a natural component of this age, but in our case, all the activity of the class leaders was built on the opposition. Division into "friends" and "strangers", insults, underhanded games and open bullying.
Our initial task was to instill in the children the basic rules of behavior: do not interrupt, do not raise your voice, raise your hand, be on duty, respect each other, communicate politely and do not use obscene expressions. Group-building trainings, exercises to develop communication skills, work with emotions, joint trips to the cinema, parks, museums, and of course, spiritual tea parties, during which you can talk about everything, discuss the day and exciting issues.
And now, after 2 months of active interaction, the state of the group has changed dramatically. The guys began to communicate more carefully with each other, the boundaries of open leadership and dominance were erased, there was more respect and friendly relations.
- Why do you come to us before school?
- Because here you can talk. - This is the most common answer among teenagers.
Why does aggression, bullying, behavior problems, and class disconnection begin? Perhaps because children just don't have enough warm tea and an attentive, supportive adult around. Who will not evaluate and criticize. It will simply prompt you and guide you, and support you at the right time. And our task is to give teenagers this support, to help them hear themselves, and therefore to help them hear each other. And become closer, friendlier, and therefore stronger.