“All the cool kids are doing it.”
This was a saying I remember hearing a lot about in the 80’s/90’s. I tried to use it on my mom numerous times to no avail. My mom was relentless. It sounded something like this…
“Mom, can we have a boy/girl sleepover? The boys can sleep in my brother’s room.”
I whine. “But Mom, EVERYBODY has boy/girl sleepovers. You just want me to be a dork! You HATE me!”
“No, but I’m no fool either. Now if you don’t quit now, you will NOT be having a sleepover!”
(I sigh, roll my eyes and stomp off to my room- making sure she hears my door shut).
“Cool kids” or “everybody” often lead us to things that weren’t necessarily good for us.
We came from a generation where ‘no means no’ with no explanation needed and ‘because I said so’ was good enough.
Things have changed.
My daughter came home from a friend’s house. I asked her why she came home early. It sounded like this…
“Mom, I need you to come get me.”
“No, just come.”
“I’m on my way.”
She gets in the car.
“What’s going on?” I ask.
“They were vaping.”
“Oh…” I looked at her confused. My friends smoked, did drugs, drank, I didn’t always leave, I just didn’t participate if I was uncomfortable. If it was too bad, I left.
“Mom, I HATE being around vaping! It’s disgusting. It smells disgusting…”
“I thought it doesn’t smell?”
“Mom, I can smell that crap a mile away. It makes my breathing hurt, just when they do it. I can’t imagine doing it myself!”
“Wow. So you decided to leave?”
“Will your friends be upset at you for leaving so soon?”
“I don’t care what they think. Mom, I don’t like it so I’m not going to be around it. That’s my choice.”
“Nice! I’m really proud of you. Thank you for being so strong!”
Another circumstance looked like this…
My son comes home from school with a strange look on his face.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“Mom most my friends don’t believe in God.”
“Okay, so how does that work for you?”
“I pray louder when I eat.”
“They always ask me what I’m doing so I tell them I pray.”
“You’re not ashamed to pray in front of them?”
“No, just because they don’t believe in God doesn’t mean that I have to be stupid too!”
“Nice. That makes good logical sense. I think you are very brave!”
“I’m mad at them.”
“They’re going to the devil.”
“Whoa. Don’t assume that. People can change. How about you pray for them too?”
The irony, is it’s not just my kids. I talk to a LOT of kids. They are warriors for their beliefs. Often, I hear people talking about this generation in a negative way, like they’re soft. They may not be as rough and tumble as we used to be, but they are standing up for themselves when they are brave. That is amazing!
How does this tie to mental health?
Back in the day, we swept our feelings under the rug. Boys didn’t cry, girls weren’t taken seriously. People would turn a blind eye to trauma. Like this generation, things have changed.
The cool kids, well they’re seeking help when they need it.
Therapy isn’t just for insanity, or extremely mentally ill as some people may think.
People come to therapy for a variety of reasons and not just for depression.
They come to therapy for:
Talking about how to make friends
How to achieve goals
How to tell their family they want a change
How to propose to the person they love
For someone to listen to anything they have to say, without being judged
My point, EVERY PERSON IN THE WORLD could benefit from therapy.
So, this time I agree. All the cool kids are doing it. Especially the ones who want a positive future.
It’s time. The New Year has come. Make your appointment today.