Ricky Frost from YEP

Get your texta back

The power of a texter can never be underestimated! More importantly, the right to ask for the texta back. If the texta represents power in relationships, how many textas could we lend before the children lose their rubber as well?

Yep, kids look to belong and we all want to find a way to fit in, and sharing, being nice, being kind gives kids the feeling of approval by others, and the class and the urge to belong is utterly powerful. Though real power is learning healthy boundaries, and their link to self-esteem and the right to say yes, and no, which contributes to healthy adulthood when dealing with relationships with partners and friends.

Although empathy and kindness represent skills to community and humanity, Self-honour, Self-respect and self-dignity should always come first. This is self-care. Once we learn to look after ourselves as young children, we can begin to understand that “I like to be treated by others, how I treat myself,” with respect value and love. Then I can really be happy for others as I am happy with myself.

So what happened to the texta? Through “Gabbies” kindness days later another kind gesture, and another missing texter. Before too long, a power-play has begun, however Innocuous it began, this is a pattern. The kindness of Gabbie and the disorganisation of Jane, has lead to ‘Gabbie’ feeling unsafe and vulnerable while ‘Jane’ is “getting a free dinner’ and full pencil case.

Amid this writing, boundaries are certainly not the sole reason for bullying as gender, sexual orientation and race play roles, however a cross sectional study by BMC Public Health draw direct links to self esteem and boundaries (Haraldstad, Kvarne, Christoherson, Helseth 2019).

Two weeks later, Gabbie has missing textas and feels frustration, resentment and feels picked on, while Jane is seen as the instigator for Gabbie’s ill feelings.

The texter analogy is how we explain to children how, from little things, big things grow.


ME represent GaggieOther represents Mary
Healthy relationship begins here
Incidents occur, I didn’t ask for my texter back
Another incident happens, the power shift further changes
Get your texter back!

After countless conversations with children and adolescents, the number one theme for them feeling down is that someone has taken their power. And the need to assert healthy boundaries, which in itself is self-empowerment.

When the adolescent looses their power, It means they have given someone else permission to use or try to use their will for something, without their full permission. On other occasions when it is voluntary, children have voluntarily given their permission to join a group through social pressure and the need to fit in, can’t blame them!

Steven Covey defined a win-win outcome as a balance between courage, (pushing for what we want) and consideration, (understanding the needs of the other party).

While this is an excellent philosophy for business exchange, It is clear that adolescents are constantly adjusting and readjusting the balance of power between different authorities such as parents, teachers, mentors and coaches, siblings, friends, other parents and different media platforms.

 The power of Empathy, (Compassion)

Today, Empathy is at the heart of educational learning, and education and the skills to “stand in another’s shoes” are a feature in of school activity. These skills are going a long way in collaborating our younger generation. However, too much niceness, kindness and consideration takes us out of our own power.

The use of compassion, (a type of empathy) is differentiated in the research by Singer and Klimeckis’ titled Empathy and Compassion. (Tania Singer, 2014) The distinguishing factors was that Empathy can draw us into the situation that can be associated with negative side effects (lower emotional states such as resentment or sadness) where Compassion, is driven by the motive to assist and help. This means that compassion keeps us in our power while helping the other. “I will give you a texter to use but please return it, is there a way you can keep your own without losing them”.

Please stop, I don’t like this, could you please, I would be good if

Healthy words to hear

Self Awareness

Self-awareness comes in a variety of forms and according to CASEL, (CASEL, 2020) the leading institute on Social and Emotional Learning, Self-Awareness comes in a variety of forms. Which include

The class will cover important issues and create an awareness in

Then the class will cover how we communicate in healthy ways to protect our boundaries and how it keeps us in our self-power.

If you have any question, pease contact YEP

YEP believing in the generation


Haraldstad, K., Kvarme, L.G., Christophersen, KA. et al. Associations between self-efficacy, bullying and health-related quality of life in a school sample of adolescents: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 19, 757 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7115-4


Other reading in the area

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