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I need some advice about Kids, peer pressure & Instant Messaging...

I have a 5th Grade Girl, Only Child. She is popular, smart, healthy, & 10 going on 13. She is the last of all her friends & classmates to have an AOL Screen name for IM'ng. 1 of her friends is not very popular amongst the rest of the girls & her mom has expressed to me some concern about her child being treated unfairly. Because this child is not so popular with the rest of the girls my daughter has not played with her in a while until this week, they had 2 sleep overs. On 1 of the days there was some IMng & it was brought up on IM if anyone like this other girl & responses were negative. Now this girl is hurt & I feel responsible on my daughters behalf because my daughter was involved in the IMng. My daughter has felt the need to say to her other friends on seperate occasions that she did not like this girl even tho it was not true. My daughter is very sweet but feeling pressure - how can I help & teach her better?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:30 AM on Feb. 20, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (8)
  • You can just talk to her about the meaning of friendship and bad karma. Thats what I did with mine. Unfortunately shes going to have to learn from her own experiences because it seems no matter how much I tried to prevent problems with my kids the older they got the more theyd ignore it and learn their life lessons. Ask her how she might have felt if the girl did the same to her and had the same negative things said of her. Ask her what this girl ever did to her to make her not want to be her friend? I would go about it that way.

    Answer by gemgem at 11:33 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • Kids are cruel. You DD just doesn't want to be singled out and the target of the next stoning. You could explain the whole following the group is not always best. She will make a strong statement about her character if she thinks for herself. Although these a concepts that are learned through experience. If you talk to her about it maybe she'll recognize the epiphany sooner.


    Answer by Farrahann at 11:40 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • i monitor my daughters and once in a while I even tell them at any given moment can i see your phone.... they know that if i see things that are not appropriate, i will take their phones away, for 1 week etc....... i have my own AOL name and sometimes the girls put away msg. i monitor those too.....OH by the way you can also LOG her AOL so you see what is going on.. I mean these are young ones so they have to be monitored .....

    Answer by Lil4babies at 12:19 PM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • Thanks the answers - I am new to this site and looking for advice.

    I have done all those things, talk to her, explain to her situations I experienced to give her an example, point things out to her so she can see the connections, we've talked about karma, I do log her IM's and read them too.  It is almost like she ignores it now when she used to be the kid that would stick up for someone being picked on.  I know that this is normal stuff - she will have to experience things herself.  I just don't want her to turn into one of those catty girls who talk about others behind their backs.  I just wonder if there is another way I can get through to her about peer pressure - I guess it is just reiteration right?  I feel bad for this other mom & her daughter too - they have had tough times as it is and this kid could use friends instead of hearing on IM no one likes her.  Its awful.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:31 PM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • This may sound silly but there are a lot of novels with interesting plots that discuss peer pressure. I would think falling into a plot and relating to characters might help her see things from different perspectives. Also you being who you are, respecting people, having empathy for that family, believing in karma, these are attributes that will rub off on her anyway.


    Answer by Farrahann at 12:36 PM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • Thanks again. That makes me feel better.
    She and I are both into books too. A lot of her books have had plots that she could relate to - I will have to find one that maybe could help with this too - great idea - not silly at all - thank you!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:45 PM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • This is such a hard age, kids will either be followers or leaders, explain that she can either be a leader and stand by a person who needs friendship or she can be like all the other sheep and follow the crowd, just warn her that following the crowd can get you into trouble. I have used this approach with my kids and so far with the older ones it has worked (the older ones are 17-15) .

    Next to that is patience while she figures out who she is, you still be friends with the mom and DD and hopefully she will follow suit, seeing mom stand beside them is the best learning tool she can see.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 7:16 PM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • It is a hard age and girls are do catty! My daughter has befriended a girl in class who is not a part of the group. As a result, my daughter has pulled herself away from the group. The teacher says that everyone likes my daughter and that she is good and kind to everyone, but she is not apart of the group as much now. She does not think that she has any friends at school. The American Girl Doll series has some good books on "Friends" and dealing with all of the pressures and attitudes! They have them on their websight and also at Borders or other book stores.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 5:00 AM on Feb. 21, 2009

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