NSPCC's new campaign; 'THE $#*! KIDS SAY'

>> Tuesday, 27 March 2012

This weekend we were having lunch with friends and discussing the fun and games in store for us when our children become teenagers. During the conversation one person mentioned how, in a family they knew, the current battle concerned getting the 13 year old daughter to shower. As in, she doesn't want to take a shower. At all.

Everybody else around the table seemed to find this somewhat amusing. Me? Not so much, as this casual comment set a cathedral's-worth of warning bells ringing in my head. I have never met this family, I don't know this family; as I understand it, they don't even live in Moscow, and of course, it could just be this girl is choosing to act out her independence battle over the issue of taking a shower when she's asked to.

Or, it could be that there is a 13 year old girl out there who - for whatever reason - can't bear to face the sight of her naked body in the shower.

You might think 'Oh, she'll get over it. It's just a passing thing...' and you could be right. But growing up I had friends who went through such phases, and now I have friends who's daughters have been / are going through similar issues and let me tell you, these early signals rarely lead to anything good.

I'm writing about this story for two reasons. Firstly, because it's been playing on my mind; should I call the friend who mentioned it and tell of her my completely unfounded concerns about a girl who I've never met and know absolutely nothing about? Perhaps I should just forget about it, because after all, it's really none of my business...

And secondly I'm writing about this because I opened my inbox yesterday to find an email about the NSPCC's new campaign designed to encourage those of us with concerns about somebody else's child, to do something about them. They wrote:

'In 2011, a record number of almost 45,000 people across the UK contacted the NSPCC because they were worried about a child. Around half of these cases were so serious they warranted immediate action. But a new report from the charity╩╝s helpline service found that 56% of these serious calls were from people who had been concerned about a child for at least a month, and over a quarter had waited at least six months.'

They have released a clip on YouTube to support this campaign, and I've embedded it below. It's called 'THE S#*! KIDS SAY' and it's powerful stuff - I recommend that you don't watch it with children around.

Will I make the call to my friend after watching this short? Whilst I don't for one minute think that shower issue is in any way related to the situations shown on this clip, I think that yes, I probably will.


MsCaroline 27 March 2012 at 11:05  

Very powerful video, and very sad. And I would definitely tell your friend to raise a red flag to the parents of that 13-yo girl. That behavior is extremely unusual for a girl of that age, at least in the US. By 13, they are usually very aware of - and interested in - personal hygiene and grooming. If that little girl does have body issues, they will not be helped by becoming known as the girl who smells, or has dirty hair. As we all know,teenage girls can be very cruel.

Knackered Mother 27 March 2012 at 14:03  

Wow, that stopped me in my tracks. Yes, I'd say something too, treading very carefully.

DD's Diary 27 March 2012 at 14:59  

Eeek! Yes, I think you should say something .... it won't do any harm if nothing's amiss, and if there is something wrong, well, that girl will probably always be grateful that someone raised the alarm x

Iota 28 March 2012 at 03:06  

Really important to be vigilant. I'm with your other commenters. I think it would be good to say something.

MsCaroline 29 March 2012 at 06:29  

Ran across this article today and immediately thought of your little 13-yo girl with the possible body image issues:

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