Posted by: greglumpkin | August 16, 2013

The Ugliness of Peer Pressure

This morning, we were dressing our nine year-old daughter in an outfit to make her look like a grunge musician. The summer camp we have her in does different “fun days” each week and this week, the kids dress up for different decades.  Her group got the 90’s.

I noticed a sad expression on her face and I asked her what was the matter.  At first, she didn’t want to answer me, but then she said, “I’m afraid my friends will say that my outfit isn’t right.  Every time we have a dress up day, they say my outfit isn’t good.”

At first, I didn’t know what to say.  I’m an adult male and, by extension, have no fashion sense whatsoever.  Khakis and a button-down or polo shirt are as dressy as I get; and on weekends, shorts and a T-shirt if the weather is nice.  Plus, I’ve developed an attitude, good or bad, that basically says, “If you don’t like me, then screw you.”  This may sound bad to some people, but I’ve found that the older I get, the less tolerance I have for negative people or people that don’t like me.  Life is too short for that.

But the hardest thing for me was what to say to her about it.  To my horror, I actually heard myself saying the exact same words my parents told me and they sounded just as lame now as they did then:

“Well, if they say that, then they aren’t really your friends.”

Wow.  Did that just come out of my mouth?!?!?!  Did I just actually say that to her?!?!?!

I really hope I can come up with something better than that soon because she’s only nine years old now.  I fear it’ll only get worse as the years go on.

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Responses

  1. So sweet. Maybe just let her know that her friends are probably thinking the same thing as they are getting dressed. Everyone worries about these things, even some adults. Remind her that’s why it’s always important to be kind with your words. Maybe her friends sometimes forget but she’ll know the ones that are friends and the ones that are truly being mean. The mean ones she doesn’t need as friends anyway..they wouldn’t make good ones and could be reminded they should work on themselves.
    Found your blog this morning by accident, looking for a funny pic I’d seen recently. Found the pic and then looked thru the blog and it gave me some smiles and I like the quotes to. Have enjoyed it. Just to say “Thanks”.

    • Thanks Margie! I really appreciate your comments.


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