Peer Pressure & Other Concerns .pdf >>
Teachers continue to report earlier and earlier signs of
hurtful behavior and peer pressure in the school grounds.
Stories indicate that “girl bullies” are becoming
What teachers are seeing and hearing in our schools
- Hurtful remarks. As early as kindergarten
students are using slang terms in the schoolyard. It is
not uncommon for an angry second grader to shout, “You’re
gay,” to a classmate.
- Inappropriate dress – students
appear to be oblivious to what is appropriate dress. Elementary
school students frequently attend school in “bootie”
shorts and tight hip-hugger pants. Middle school students
wear tight tops and extra short skirts.
- Inappropriate language and touch is
often seen as a compliment. Girls are happy to be noticed
and boys’ parents comment, “Hey, he’s
a boy. What do you expect?”
- Kids are repeatedly heard talking about “R-rated
movies.” Some parents buy the tickets for
R-rated movies while others let the kids rent the videos.
Some parents buy tickets for PG movies but the students
sneak into another movie once the parent drops them off.
- Games like “Truth or Dare”
take the form of “Kiss the Body Part.” This
is often the beginning of peer pressure. Students are forced
to do something that will make them feel bad or not do it
and feel ostracized.
- Students fear not being included and not being accepted
by others. Bullies are masters in ostracizing others with
comments like, “You can’t sit here.”
- Hurtful emails – Teachers comment
that some students seem to think that they can say ANYTHING
they want about a classmate in an email.
What parents can do
- Make you home a welcome place for your child’s
friends. Choose your child’s friends. Don’t
dictate or forbid but foster good contacts by making them
easier. Encourage activities or groups with good values,
use the power of the dollar.
- Get to know the parents of your child’s friends.
Agree to help each other’s child in need. With low
to midlevel risky behavior, first confront the child and
warn that if it happens again you will have to tell their
parent. If life threatening, tell parent.
- Give your child an escape plan and a code word that can
get you to come immediately.
- Teach your child how to respond to lines and not get
painted into a corner or caught in a tidal wave.
- Teachers have asked parents to encourage children to
report “bullying” behavior to their school teacher,
counselor or principal.
- Help your children put “STOP signs” in their
lives so they won’t run into dangerous situations.
They have to know where to put the “STOP signs.”
Most sexual experiences that go too far occur in the students’
home, after school.
- Discuss why kids go too far. Most students do not plan
to go too far. Talk about momentum and the need to slow
down before you can stop.
Mary Lee O’Connell, CRNP - 8/04