I always thought that as a mother, the peer pressure I needed to be aware of when it came to my children were all about drugs. alcohol and smoking, in other words bad company. I was so wrong.
There are only 14 kids in Yaya’s class. They started with 28 kids in grade 8 and half dropped out over the past two years because the program is very intense. The 14 are very close and this is the last year of Spanish Immersion. Next year, they either need to join the IB or do regular OP.
Trouble has been brewing ever since Yaya said she is doing the IB. Parents of one of her classmate are Ivy League graduates and she insists Yaya is wasting her time doing IB because you don’t need to do science or maths to get in to an American ( Ivy) Uni. When I asked Yaya, if her friend’s parents did science and maths, she tells me that both won academic Dux award in their respective schools in grade 12. (Academic dux is for core subjects, science and maths).
Her friend insists Yaya will fail the IB because IB is very rigorous and keeps telling Yaya that she should take up art subjects to get a better OP score.
Yaya also volunteer at the thrift shop once a week, which her friend think is a waste of time and energy. There is no need to waste your time, when you can ask one of your relatives to give you a letter that “you worked” in their office/company etc. Besides why would you want to volunteer, if you must work, then do some work where you get paid is the advice her friend is giving.
It doesn’t stop with that. Then there is me. According to her friend
“My parents really don’t care where I go or what I do. They let me go to bed any time, they let me drink alcohol, they let me do this or that” In other words Yaya’s mother is horrible because even though Yaya is allowed to go to bed any time, her mother doesn’t allow her to drink alcohol. I have allowed her to taste alcohol, but I feel15 years is too young to drink alcohol.
Every other day, Yaya comes home with her spirit broken to a million pieces from school ..”Mom, I wan to make difference in this world, but what if I failed” is the common theme.
Every time, I tell her the same. “You will never know till you try.Do the best you can and it will all work out well in the end”
Some days, that is all she needed to hear, but most days, she will ask “What if my best isn’t enough?”
Then I tell her, if a girl who never spoke a word of English, who learned all the subjects in Malayalam, who is deaf and dumb and blind plus all that Deepa S wrote in her comment, can pass MBBS with flying colours and do her master’s degree in a well known British Uni, then her daughter’s best is enough to conquer the world. So you see, there is an advantage to having a screwed up childhood. You can show your children that, if you can succeed while facing all those disadvantage, then there is nothing that stops them from getting where they need to go.
6 more months till Yaya finish her grade 10 and then she will be free of her friend’s negative influence.. each day, I dread seeing my daughter’s sad face, but I know eventually Yaya will come out a winner..I hope so.