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Description

Monica, now 12, is another year older but is dismayed when her mum texts a photo and she 'hasn't changed a bit'. Her misery is compounded when she suspects Lara and Akira, also 12, of changing the subject of their conversation about spots and boys because they think that Monica isn't grown up enough to join in. When she sees her friends going out together later but not inviting her, she decides it’s because they don’t want to be seen with a little girl. She decides to show them just how grown up she can be. The rest of the friends are actually setting up a surprise party at school for Monica's birthday the next day. Tony watches Gabriel effortlessly pick up a crate of drinks that he couldn't budge and begins to compare his less developed arms with Gabriel's more muscular build. The following day, Monica is late for the bus. At the last minute she arrives but she's dressed up in her host mum's clothes, wears make up and is almost unrecognisable. Tony and everyone else on the bus ridicule her. At school, Monica is inconsolable. Lara and Akira try to help her see that she doesn't need to worry, and that she will develop at her own pace. They persuade her to come to class where she finds everyone waiting for her surprise party. Tony apologises and whispers his secret to Monica – he spent half the night doing weights trying to develop his muscles and now he can't even lift up a cup never mind a crate! They share a moment of recognition and Monica realises that she’s just fine the way she is.
This clip is from:
Growing Pains
First broadcast:
16 May 2012

Classroom Ideas

This clip can be used as a stimulus to discuss self-image and self-confidence in boys and girls, and is useful to be able to re-enforce the fact that different children develop at different stages. Within these clips it poses questions to the listener to get the children to interact with the clip by answering them. Then pose questions to promote discussion and develop understanding about growing like "Why do you think Monica wasn’t not happy? How have you changed from last year? Do you think everyone changes at the same time? Why do people change? How do you think you would feel if you were Monica or someone else that doesn’t feel like they have changed? What could you do to be a good friend and support someone who might feel the same way as Monica?" Talk to the children about trying to see the bigger picture before responding straight away and to be understanding to others.

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