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It's My Life
Video Discussion Guide

We have provided discussion questions to be used with some of the It’s My Life video clips. Some questions are based on what children talk about in the clips themselves and suggested answers are provided; additional questions are provided for Further Discussion.

You will have the option of printing questions for each individual video clip or you may also print all questions for all clips.

Video Clip Topics:


What ways do kids find to cheat on tests and quizzes?
Looking at a textbook; writing a “cheat sheet” on their hand or on paper; looking at another student’s test; talking to another student

Further Discussion:
The kids in the clip disagree on whether copying someone else’s homework counts as cheating. What do you think?

According to the kids in the video, why is cheating wrong?
It’s the same as stealing the answers; if you cheat you do not learn

Further Discussion:
In the clip, one student says that kids who cheat are really “cheating themselves.” What do you think this means? How can cheating lead to other problems?

Further Discussion:
One kid says that some people are tempted to cheat because it is “the easy way out.” Do you think this is true? Can you think of ways that cheating might actually be harder than studying?

The kids mention things you can do if a friend asks you to help him/her cheat. What are they?
Ignore the friend; tell him or her to study; tell him or her that you don’t want to get into trouble

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What sorts of things make a student have a crush on someone?
Good looks; a nice personality; a good sense of humor; being good at sports; being independent; having common interests

What do the kids in the video say they do to express themselves to their crushes?
Flirt; sit near them; come right out and tell them; try to make it obvious without actually telling them

Further Discussion:
One boy in the clip says that boys don’t really get crushes, only girls do. Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

Further Discussion:
Which do you think is more painful: having a crush and never telling the person, or telling the person and being rejected? Why?

What do the kids in the clip do when someone has a crush on them but they do not feel the same way?
Tell the person that they are “just friends”; avoid the person in order to spare his her/feelings; just come right out and say that they don’t feel the same way

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Dealing With Anger

What types of things make the kids in the video angry?
When a sibling bothers them; when they can’t do what they want or don’t get their way; when others won’t admit defeat; when they do more work that others; when they have to do things over

What sometimes makes the kids angry at themselves?
When they know they’ve done something wrong; when they freeze up in a test even though they studied; when they score low on tests because they didn’t study

According to the kids in the video, what can happen when someone doesn’t have an outlet for anger?
The anger becomes “bottled up”; it can make you act different; it can lead to even more anger; it can make you act out or take out your anger on other people

What are some of the ways the kids have found to release their anger?
Scream; write in a journal; listen to music; read or draw

Further Discussion:
Do you think you have a quick temper or does it take a lot to make you angry? What types of things make you the angriest? What things bother other people, but not you?

Further Discussion:
Can you think of constructive ways to let out anger that the kids in the video didn’t mention? What are some ways of letting out anger that aren’t positive or constructive?

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What do the kids in the video list as causing their depression?
School problems; having something taken from them; rejection and other problems with crushes; loneliness; being betrayed by friends

Further Discussion:
Can you think of causes of depression that the students in the video did not list?

The kids list some differences between regular sadness and real depression. What are they?
Depression does not go away quickly but can stay for a long time; depression can change your attitude or personality; depression can make you feel like the whole world is against you; it can lead to a drop in school grades; it can make it hard to think clearly

Further Discussion:
Are you the type of person to keep quiet about being depressed, or would you probably tell someone about what you’re feeling? Which reaction would help you more? Why?

Further Discussion:
How would you react if you found out a friend were seriously depressed? Would you try to help? Would you talk to an adult about it? Why or why not?

Further Discussion:
What mental health resources are available for young people in your area? Would you know where to look for help if you or a friend were depressed?

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Embarrassing Moments

What kinds of embarrassing moments do the kids in the video describe?
Farting in public; drooling; falling or tripping; goofing up in front of a crush; getting caught doing something silly on camera; being loud in public

Further Discussion:
What was your most embarrassing moment? How did you deal with it? How long did the embarrassment last?

What main piece of advice do the kids offer for coping with an embarrassing situation?
Try to laugh it off

Further Discussion:
Does the level of embarrassment depend on who is there to see what happened? Who are you most worried about being embarrassed in front of?

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Gossip & Rumors

Why do people spread gossip and rumors?
To boost their own social status; to have something to talk about; to get attention; to try to be funny; for revenge

What strategies do the kids mention for dealing with gossip and rumors?
Don’t make it worse by spreading it to others; try to find out if it’s true; try to find out who started it and why; ignore it

Further Discussion:
Which of these strategies sounds the best to you? Why?

Further Discussion:
What’s the craziest rumor or piece of gossip that ever circulated in your school or group of friends? What did you think when you first heard it? Why do you think people spread it around?

Further Discussion:
Do you think spreading gossip and rumors can be a form of bullying? Why or why not?

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Home Alone

What kinds of things made the kids worry about being home alone?
Fear of strangers; strange phone calls; frightening noises

What conflicts with sibs did the kids have when the parents weren’t around?
Arguments about who is in charge; fights over the TV

According to the kids, what are the advantages to being home without parents?
Feeling independent; doing their own thing; bending the rules; eating and watching what they want

Further Discussion:
Do you think it’s important for kids left home alone to have an emergency plan? Why or why not? What should be included in an emergency plan?

Further Discussion:
One boy mentioned that when he’s home alone, he’s not allowed to open the door for anyone. If you were a parent leaving a kid home alone, what rules would you make and why?

Further Discussion:
How old do you think a kid should be before a parent leaves him or her alone in the house? Why?

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Sibling Rivalry

What do the siblings in the clip fight or argue about?
They fight because a sib is bothering or hitting them; they fight over who does what chores; they fight because a sib is being bossy; they fight over what to watch on TV

Further Discussion:
Do you think it’s normal for siblings to argue? What kids of fights are typical, and what kinds of fight might show that there is a serious problem?

Further Discussion:
Do you have siblings who you fight with? What are the fights usually about? How do things get resolved?

Further Discussion:
What role should parents play in sibling arguments? Should they try to help kids solve their disputes or just stay out of it? Why?

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Time Management

What kinds of things take up the kids’ time when they get home from school?
Chores; sports; homework; extra classes; music; dance; drama; religious instruction; appointments; youth organizations

What’s the good side to having such a full schedule of activities?
They’re happy with what they’re involved in; they don’t get bored

What’s the down side to it?
They feel overwhelmed or stressed out; they have no time for friends or other types of fun; they are busy all the time

How do the kids manage their time?
The write down assignments and commitments in a planner; they plan ahead for things coming up; they do homework in a particular order

Further Discussion:
One girl says that it’s important to keep some time that is not for scheduled activities. Do you agree? Why?

Further Discussion:
Do you prefer to spend most of your time in clubs and other activities; or do you like more free time to just do whatever? What would be a good balance for you?

Further Discussion:
Do you think that your school gives out too much work, just the right amount, or not enough? If you ran things, how much schoolwork would you give to kids?

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