Cadette Amaze Journey Resources

Relational aggression-girls bullying girls-is an unfortunate part of growing up. The Amaze Cadette Journey was created to help girls get along with each other and help put a stop to this.


Addressing Relational Aggression in Girls With the Cadette Amaze Journey



As a mother, one thing that has amazed me is how little some things have changed since my own childhood. I am not talking about the world of technology-that has taken on a life of its own since the invention of the personal computer and cell phones.I am talking about girls and relational aggression.
Just about every woman I have spoken to about this issue can think back to her past and remember who the mean girl was who made every girls life around her miserable. She was a child whom others both feared and revered. Girls feared her because they did not want to be her next target, so they revered her to stay on her good side. Life without her was infinitely easier, and her presence could change the dynamic of a group.
So here we are in 2015, and how girls act towards one another still has not changed. Even with anti-bullying laws and Zero Tolerance policies in schools, relational aggression among girls still exists, just as it had in my own childhood.
Except that it is worse.

With technology, girls can easily be even more aggressive behind the screen of a computer or a cell phone. Apps can create non-existent conversations and pictures can be photoshopped to create online lies that spread faster than any virus.The Girl Scout Cadette Amaze Journey seeks to address the issue of relational aggression that is so prevalent with this age group.

What is Relational Aggression?

When I was in the third grade in 1973, I had two best friends. “Michelle” lived on the second floor of my apartment building and “Karen” lived in the building next to ours. The three of us played together for our entire lives, but in the third grade, things changed. For the first time, we were all in the same class, and Karen started playing one against the other. As an adult, I can see that she was a selfish and unsure of herself, so she would choose her favorite friend of the moment and give the other the deep freeze.
I can vividly remember standing in line in the gym, where all classes met before going to our classrooms. Karen wore her fashionable crocheted poncho over their two heads to tell secrets. They created their own little world and would not let me in. When the poncho flipped back and they emerged, they would look at me to see if I had noticed them. That is relational aggression.
Photo by marin from freedigitalphoto.net
Unlike the physical bullying that is the preferred form or aggression with boys, relational aggression is psychological in nature. Adults can see a child physically go after another, but the head games girls play with each other are far from obvious and oftentimes go unnoticed.The emotional scars of this “mean girl” syndrome run deep and never fully go away. Girls who are the victim may find their grades dropping due to their focus on the social issues they face each day at school. They may feel depressed and get “sick” more often so they can avoid the daily torture they face.

Goals of the Amaze Journey

This Journey has several goals:
Adapting to the changes ahead in middle school
Identifying and preventing bullying
How to be a better friend
Create healthy relationships
Create lasting friendships

Book Resources for the Amaze Journey

One of the improvements over the years is that adults now take bullying much more seriously than they did years ago. We now know of the permanent scars and ramifications words can tattoo on a person's psyche.The following resources will help adult leaders see things and provide a springboard for discussion for the girls.


 

Stand Up for Yourself and Your Friends: Dealing with Bullies and Bossiness and Finding a Better Way  from Amazon

This book is a rare one-an across the board five star rating from Amazon reviewers. This book helps girls spot bullying situations, how to respond to them, and when to report them with necessary.  Sharing excerpts from this book,especially the quizzes, will help start the discussions that need to be had.



Molly's Pilgrim

Molly's Pilgrim from Amazon
This classic tale of bullying was written by Barbara Cohen. It takes place in the early 1900's, when many immigrants came to America seeking a greater opportunity for their families, as well as religious freedom.

Molly and her parents are from Russia, and when they move to a small town in upstate New York, the prejudice and bullying begin. This is a short book but ripe for a full blown discussion.


The Hundred Dresses

The Hundred Dresses, written Elenor Estes and illustrated by Louis Slobodkin, is a Newberry Honor book. Written in 1944, it tells the story of Wanda Petronski, the motherless daughter of Polish immigrant. Wanda is teased by the other girls because she tells them that she has “one hundred dresses all lined up in a row in her closet”, yet she wears the same faded blue dress to school each day. She is also teased for her “funny” last name, where she lives and how she speaks.Peggy and Maddie, the two girls who teased her the worst, go to her home to tell her that she won the class drawing contest see the hundred dresses. They are not real dresses, but spectacular drawings from this artistic child that no one really noticed unless it was to tease her.
The Hundred Dresses from Amazon

But Wanda is not there, she has moved. Her father, who was also the object of prejudice because he is Polish, decided to move his family back to the city where having a different last name is not a big deal. The girls write a letter to her as some form of apology, but it never really settles well with Maddie, for she knew she was wrong.This chapter book can be used as a springboard for discussing bullying.
Excerpts from the book that show how Maddie feels that she must go along with Peggy, as she fears being the next target can be run off for each girl. They can then change the dialog in groups, having Maddie take a stand and not remain silent when Wanda is teased.Another option is give Wanda a voice of her own and have her tell the girls that what they are doing is wrong. Wanda often stands and listens, and perhaps it is because English is her second language that she does not understand that she is the object of ridicule.

Create a Peacemaker Kit!

Even though they are older, girls enjoy crafting and are much better at it than when they were younger scouts. As part of this Journey, the girls are encouraged to make Peacemaker Kits. These are small tins that contain quotes, song lyrics, and other things that inspire them to be better people.Here are some things your girls could use to create their own peacemaker kits.

Amazing Resources for the Amaze Journey!

      This blogger has a detailed lesson plan for this Journey and shares how she did it with her troop.


        Amaze in a Day or over several meetings.


Cadette Amaze Take Action Projects

The final Take Action Project needs to be one that can be shared. Here are some wonderful YouTube videos to help inspire your girls as they take on this most important project.