Today, at Girls on the Run practice, we talked about strategies for dealing with peer pressure. There were several steps involved, and we eventually created hand motions to help the girls remember each step. Before responding, the girls were encouraged to stop and breathe, and we practiced those steps first. One girl, J, was not taking her deep breaths with us, and our staff member from Big Buddy (the after school program) said “Hey J, remember to breathe!”
J quickly responded! “I don’t need to remember. I’m already breathing.”
Well, she wasn’t wrong. I couldn’t help but laugh at her blunt response; not everyone remembers to breathe when faced with a stressful or difficult scenario, especially when they need to respond quickly.
For our workout, we played a sort of tag game while we ran laps, and let me tell you that chasing third graders will wear you down faster than you realize. Several of the coaches ran in the opposite direction of the team and would tag and freeze the girls. To unfreeze, they had to respond to a scenario we gave them using the steps we talked about and practiced. I thought they hated the game, but they begged to keep playing when we said they could just run. So, we mixed it up and allowed some of the girls to tag the coaches and give scenarios to respond to. (They were almost all about cheating on a test or stealing various items.) The exercise was a success, and I even logged 1.6 miles doing it!
I think it’s fair to say they enjoyed today’s lesson, and I have had a good refresher course for next time my friend tries to get me to steal a candy bar from the store or skip school when we have a test. What a blessing to be reminded of these important lessons myself as I help guide these precious, wonderful girls.
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