25 Jun Time to Get Uncomfortable
I get it. My couch is one of my favorite places to be. It calls to me sometimes. I am a comfort seeker. I don’t camp because it doesn’t come with air conditioning. Take my man card if you want…you just have to find it first. I think I lost it years ago when my girls were little and they used to fill my hair with bows and ribbons while they fixed daddy’s hair in their at home Beauty Shop!
Comfort, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. However, comfort might be putting our students at risk. As I travel the country speaking to students about important topics like bullying and responsible use of technology, I am always surprised by the conversations I have with them after my presentations. These conversations, more often than not, break my heart.
For instance, when I tell students that 86% of sexual pics meant for one person end up being shared with others, they are shocked. After the presentation, they line up to tell me their stories with tears in their eyes, and they always say something like, “Why has no one ever told me this before?”
Rest assured. I lie to these students. It’s a lie of omission because it is something I don’t tell them. I don’t tell them “no one ever told you, because it’s an uncomfortable conversation”. That would be true, but not helpful. I just tell them, “I’m sorry no one ever told you, but now you know. Now you can make better choices going forward”.
You see, they’ve been wired to believe that this is just what teenagers do. They are growing up in a very sexualized culture, and they are getting most of their information on this topic from the computers they carry in their pockets. And, we all know, that if it’s on the internet, it must be true!
I believe, that it is time for a “rewire”. I have partnered with a National organization called Refuge for Women to produce a student curriculum that you can use to break the ice on these uncomfortable but crucial topics (see 2 minute promo video here). This curriculum is 4 video based lessons on: Pornography, Social Media, Human Trafficking, and Abuse. Each 20 minute video serves to break the ice on these topics. Then, the included discussion guide allows you to help your students process what they just watched, debunk some myths they believe, and arm them with better information to make better choices.
We have been wired by our culture to avoid uncomfortable things, and our students are paying a high price for this. I believe it is time for a rewire!