Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Peer Pressure

This morning, I was getting Mister Man ready to head off to daycare. He almost tied his shoes for the very first time. Almost. That's not the point of today though.

Little Miss was already on the bus to preschool, so it was just to two of us. His shoes were on, as was his coat -- and yes, I know it's April 15. In Chicago, we still need a coat this late into spring.

We were almost to the car when I realized that he didn't yet have a hat on. We wear a hat just about every day, either for protection from the cold during the winter with a ski hat or from the sun with a baseball cap during the summer.

I've gotten sightly out of the habit lately, but with the wee ones playing outside at daycare and during gym at preschool, I know it's time to start focusing on the hats again. Little Miss chose her lilac White Sox hat without a fuss.

I remembered that I had a hat already in the car, so I suggested that he just put that one on.

Mister Man: I don't want to wear that one.
Me: Really? Why not? (It's always been one of his favorites.)
Mister Man: Because.
Me: (I'm intrigued now) Well, can you explain why?
Mister Man: Well, some of the kids don't like the Cardinals.
Me: Ahhh. So you want to be like the other kids?
Mister Man: No, I still don't like the cubs. I just don't want them to know that I like the Cardinals.
Me: That's ok. You don't have to tell them.
Mister Man: I just don't want them to make fun of me for liking the Cardinals.


Really? He's five. He's in preschool for goodness sake. Kids not only are choosing teams and pressuring others, but my boy has picked up on it. My boy who doesn't always fit in the greatest and struggles with some of the social cues has figured this out.

And I absolutely did not make him wear the Cardinals hat. I'm just hoping that no one starts ripping on the Vikes. Then we might have to have a little chat.

Poor kid. Where does it go from here? What will actual elementary school be like? Middle school and yikes -- high school?


Laura April 15, 2009 at 10:33 PM  

Ahhhh the dangers of branding kids. :)

Dawn Parsons Smith April 15, 2009 at 11:25 PM  

I love that you call your wee guy Mister Man! When my son (now age 12) was that age, I called him Mister Man!

It just stinks that the peer pressure seems to start younger these days.

God bless your little darlings!

WeaselMomma April 16, 2009 at 6:40 AM  

Yikes is right! That is a little young to have to worry about such stuff. I'd put money on it actually being a problem caused by one child in the class.

Lesley April 16, 2009 at 7:15 AM  

I don't get the teasing at such an early age....I don't know...I don't understand why teachers don't see more of it....and stop it....Happy SITS day

Tami April 16, 2009 at 7:48 AM  

I have found that kids who have older siblings learn how to tease at an early age. Then the vicious cycle begins when they take the teasing they learn to school....
Elementary schools were not too bad (from my experience). Perhaps because I taught my children that teasing is not nice and how to handle it if someone was teasing them. Middle school is when the boys began to worry about what they wore to school, and how their hair looked. I didn't mind that too much because I figured they were at least groomed well! ha! Zachary is entering high school in Sept. I will keep you posted!

Karen April 16, 2009 at 7:54 AM  

First of all, YEAH for being socially aware. :)

Second, that bites. That young? Sorry.

MaBunny April 16, 2009 at 8:54 AM  

Yeah thats pretty bad... not too long after the Presidential election - one of my daughters friends was called a racist - because she didnt vote for Obama.. um, hello , shes 9!!!! she can't vote yet - you can bet the teachers got after the kids who were picking o her, but geesh give me a break.. kids only learn that knd of junk from the adults they are always aroudn! its sad....

septembermom April 16, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

Teasing does start way too young these days. Sorry that Mister Man had to worry about wearing his favorite cap. Kids do seem more and more self-conscious at an earlier age. They have to think too much about superficial things. Why can't kids just relax and have fun?

Kelly Deneen Raymond April 16, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

Uh-oh. He likes the Vikings?

LOL. Kidding, kidding!

That is really sad that they tease kids at that age!

Diane April 16, 2009 at 10:17 AM  

Bless his heart. I tell you, sometimes I wish every school on the planet would go to uniforms... then every kid would look alike and they'd be able to distinguish themselves by their accomplishments. It's so frustrating and it only gets worse.

Gina April 16, 2009 at 11:02 AM  

It kills me that this kind of crap starts so early.

Mama Nut April 16, 2009 at 12:09 PM does start so young! Stopping by from Mama Kat's ww...nice post!

Anonymous April 16, 2009 at 12:55 PM  

Peer pressure at age 5...that's sad!

Tulsi April 16, 2009 at 1:07 PM  

It pretty much gets and stays worse until graduation day. Middle school is actually the worst of the worst. Before, kids are finding out the food chain. After, the kids have pretty much figured out a different food chain and tend to grow up SLOWLY. I've had to talk to teachers, principals, and councilors on a few occasions to get it curbed. It starts early and is pretty bad because of cell phones. Being mean gets sneaky with the phones now. I don't let my kids - well, two are gone now - my daughter delete her in or out box until I check them. I don't alot, but she knows I can. Sometimes the bully deletes them from her phone and forgets that My Mikele has it still on her phone. Talk about killing the sucker punch they thought they got away with. My husbands niece is the worst and she KNOWS I read texts.

That Girl April 16, 2009 at 2:23 PM  

I blogged about sort of the same thing. My daughter is in 2nd grade and some little girl is being non stop mean to a group of girls. It does start so young! sad!!

anymommy April 16, 2009 at 5:57 PM  

I don't know, but I'm hoping you'll share since you're going first?!

Michelle April 16, 2009 at 8:36 PM  

Laura - Danger ... or character building? I prefer the latter ;)

Bee and Rose - It's a fun nickname and sooooo suits him! And yeah... I've heard the girls start their cliques in kindergarten now. It was fourth grade when I was in school.

Weaselmomma - And I'd bet money that I can tell you exactly which child in which class caused the issue. Same child who hides candy and only dispenses it to *certain* children... among other transgressions.

Noah's Mommy - It's frustrating. I've had to bring it up to teachers before, and I will say that it's gotten better... but there's one particular child!

tt millers - I'm actually looking forward to moving out of daycare/preschool and into actual elementary school because there *is* more of a focus on bullying. Or not bullying. Good luck wit high school!

Karen - I knew you'd get it of all people :) And yes... it's that young. Will it be in utero by the time my grandchildren arrive?

MaBunny - Yep, it's allll about the role models and what they see on a daily basis and what they are told is ok.

septembermom - That's the 64K question. Our district is really starting to focus on social emotional learning, but ... there's so much outside the schools.

Kelly - Ummm YES. Hello, the best team ever!

Diane - True... but if there are uniforms, then there would be something else they'd go after. Trust me, my fifth grade Catholic school uniformed class drove out a boy after a year because he was different. They were so cruel... and no one stopped them.

Gina - Yep, I'm with ya. But at the same time, I can't coddle him, or it will be worse for him.

FINEal thoughts - And getting younger... welcome!

Tulsi - Yikes. You're not painting a pretty picture. I can only hope that the wee ones both find a good and supportive group and have faith and confidence in themselves. I know it's odd... but I actually loved high school.

That Girl - It's amazing that one girl can terrorize a whole group. It's the whole motto of "it just takes one bad apple..."

anymommy - Of course ;) You've got tons of people to learn from. Because you know -- we'll all do it wrong first!

Angela April 17, 2009 at 7:12 AM  

Oh, how well I remember those days of peer pressure misery. Unfortunately, it's part of school days for all of us at some point. I think one of the best strategies is to teach kids (of course, I don't have any of my own, LOL, but I remember what my mom taught us) that when kids make fun of them, it's usually not that the one being teased has done anything wrong. It's actually insecurity on the part of the one doing the teasing. My mom told me to feel sorry for people like that and just be nice to them anyway. I don't know if it worked at the time but it makes sense now :-)

Cookie April 17, 2009 at 11:49 AM  

Yikes! That doesn't sound good.

Michelle April 19, 2009 at 2:57 PM  

Angela - That will definitely be a part of our strategies as the wee ones get older. Self-condifence, etc isn't really something that they get yet....

Cookie - I'm guessing from your comment that you haven't run into that with your kids yet -- which is great! It sounds like it's pretty standard, at least in our area... which doesn't say much for our area in that regards, unfortunately.

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