Peer Pressure.

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.

12 thoughts on “Peer Pressure.

  1. Peer pressure is horrible. Everyone assumed I wasn’t affected because I used to get very irritated whenever someone told me what I should do and what I shouldn’t since I was fiercely independent. My really sharp tongue (made sharper by my frequent migraines) and lack of concern for what others thought about me (more normal on all counts by now) made people think I was immune.I was not.there was always this nagging doubt-what if I am all wrong. She has someone to talk to, that is the best thing.

    • URT: I know Yaya has me to talk to..But sometimes it bothers me knowing that it is her best friend who is now becoming her worst enemy..

  2. I am sure she will Sarah. The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree …… She sounds a lot like you, the more people tell her she can’t, she gets all the more determined to just prove her point. And ofcourse she has the greatest inspiration right at home 🙂 .

  3. You need to tell Yaya to toughen up!! This is not the last time she will hear negativity and people trying to kill her confidence. This will happen at every stage. She should know that this happens when others know that she has a bright future and the ability to achieve great things. People try to get her to drop so that she is no longer a viable competition.
    Advice for you.. This too shall pass… 🙂

    • MS: It is hard for Yaya to accept that her best friend is trying to destroy her is such a hard lesson to learn at such an early age..

  4. “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.” – that sure is one best thing, which i overlooked…thanks sarah! u are one hell of a mother!

    • Swathi: I always felt, you have a choice, Either you can wallow is self pity or get out and live. Whatever had happened to me, I can’t change it. I refuse to live my life with regrets when I have so much to live for..

  5. “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” Eleanor Roosevelt. Saw this on FB today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *