bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘peer pressure’

A Mom Again, Naturally…

Yesterday, a mom of one of Karen’s friends said, “Well, when I was a kid, I took off on my bike and was gone all day.  I just decided that it was time to start letting [my daughter] go on her own.  I mean, I’m sending her with my cell phone and having her check in.  I mean, c’mon, we didn’t even have cell phones back then!”

This mom was surprised that I wasn’t comfortable with Karen riding her bike alone for a mile to her friends’ house.  Karen is eleven.  If she weren’t going alone, I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but since she was…no way.

Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, at 43, peer pressure still exists.  You’d think it would go away when you became an adult.  Or at least, you hoped it would.  But, no.  I was standing there, on the phone getting pressure from this mom to let my daughter ride alone.  I explained that I didn’t want her riding up there alone and the mom said, “Oh, I thought you lived near “Lucy” and “Ethel.””  I said, “Yep.  We do.  But, that is just too far for Karen to go on her own.  I’m just not comfortable with it.”  “Oh.”  Then I let the uncomfortable silence sit there.

The mom then agreed that I could come and pick her daughter up and take the girls to Planet Smoothie.  Which is what I offered in the first place. 

Do I wish this was an era where I could say, “See ya!” to my kids and have them home by dark?  Sure do!  Those were great times.  Did horrible things happen to kids back then?  Sure did, we just didn’t know about them.  But, now we do.  We hear about them all the time.  And, knowing a registered sex offender (involving children) lives between our house and Karen’s friend’s house made the decision even easier.  But, even if that wasn’t true, I still wouldn’t have let her go.  It just seemed so far away.

I believe in safety in numbers.  And, Karen and her two friends used to walk to and from school every day last year.  But, during that time of day, there were lots of other kids and parents walking to and from school as well.  So, it’s not that we live in a scary area, or that I want my children to be afraid to go anywhere.  But, I’m not going to send them out to play in traffic, either.

I just felt the need to write this down.  I don’t want to be a helicopter mom.  I want to let my kids grow up.  But, they both still have plenty of time for that.  Right?  Hang on, I’ve gotta go cut the crusts of their PB&Js.

Getting Rid of Weeds

I couldn’t really come up with a good title for this one.  I just knew I wanted to blog about it.

On a recent thread of some friends on Facebook who are all in middle school/high school, there was some joking about one of the high schools not having a good football team, but were the best at smoking weed.  Just kidding around, of course.  (Just like when I was in high school, EVERYONE knew that Parkway West did the most drugs.  ha)

Then, one of the kids posts, “Weed isn’t so bad.  If you are going to do something, do weed.”


As a mom (and adult), my mouth dropped open. 

One of the other kids quickly wrote back and dispelled that myth because he had just had a speaker in Health class that explained how smoking pot slowly changes you, and by the time you notice the change, it’s too late to kick the habit yourself.  Another kid wrote that she’d had the same speaker at a different school.  They both remarked about how the guy looked like he had just come from Woodstock, but that’s beside the point, just a funny aside.  Probably made him much more credible, though.

Even after that, I just couldn’t let it go.  So I wrote,“And, as the token adult in this conversation, I’m going to have to say something “adult-like.” What kind of argument is “if ur going to do something, do weed?” Why would you have to do anything at all? Is there going to be some kind of game show when you go to an interview for a job where they say, “Okay. You have to do some kind of drug in order to get this job. Which one do you choose? Crack? Heroine? or Door #3-Weed?”

Didn’t mean to get all preachy there, just 43 years of experience just boiled up and burst out of me. (C’mon, though. You didn’t really think I’d sit here and not say anything, did you?)”

I really wish this had been a face-to-face conversation.  Because you can’t really convey the “you have GOT to be kidding me” look in print.

Part of this kid’s motive was probably to get attention with her comment.  But, knowing her a little, I also feel pretty confident that it is also how she feels.  This kid just turned 16.  And, I’m sure that the word on the street is that “everyone tries it.”  Which is the same as when I was that age.  And, moments like this immediately transport me back to those days.

I suppose that my biggest shock was not “Oh my gosh!  Kids are smoking pot!” but rather, “THIS is what kids think?  THIS is the mentality?”  Peer pressure is going to knock this girl upside the head.  Or she’s going to be knocking someone upside the head with this messed up logic.

I tried to come up with examples of how ridiculous her statement sounded…if you are going to kill someone, use a knife…if you are going to commit arson, burn down an empty building…if you are going to cut off a part of your body, pick the ear…

I’d love some other ideas.  I’ve spoken my peace.  I’m good now.

Peer Pressure is Alive and Well

Yesterday I had two of my dear friends over to play the game Harry Potter Scene It.  The three of us have been huge HP fans for many years.  We had a book discussion after the final book as soon as we had all read it.  We’ve played the game before and are very evenly matched.  We have been trying to get together to do this for over a year, but with my bipolar diagnosis and treatment followed by one of the other friend’s diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, we obviously had other things going on that took precedence.  (I’m pleased to announce that my friend is doing very, very well!  And, the other friend is afraid to hang around with us since she’s afraid she’s next.)

So, we all finallygot together.  I had given this a lot of thought months ago, and so I had some stuff put away for the occasion.  I made a trophy of Lucius Malfoy as a Death Eater, a sign for Thestral Parking, and a large sign that said, “Welcome to the Triwizard Tournament.”  Now, realizing that this may as well have been written in a foreign language to some of you, bear with me.  Another item I bought for the theme was a box of Bertie Bott’s Beans, which are Jelly Bellys, but have some really disgusting flavors along with normal ones.  (This is a product is featured in all the HP books, and was created for real after the popularity of the books.)

Yesterday my rule was “If you lose the game, you have to eat a Bertie Bott’s bean.  Whatever comes out of the box, you have to eat it.”  Unfortunately, I lost the first game, but luck was with me and my flavored bean was toasted marshmallow.  My friend, Karen had a green one that was grass-flavored.  She said it tasted just like grass, but it wasn’t a bad taste.

We played one more game.  My friend who won the first game was quickly falling behind this round.  (I was at the back again.)  She started telling us how worried she was.  We kept giving her a hard time about being a sore loser.  She said, “You guys, I have a really bad gag reflex.  I’m getting sick just thinking about it.”  Well, she lost the game, and so did I.  She got a light-colored one.  She said, “I will get sick, seriously, guys.”  I got her a large margarine-like tub.  She put the bean in her mouth.  “UGH!  IT’S SARDINE!”  And she spit it out.  And then started to throw up.  Uh-oh.  I truly didn’t realize that she would actually throw up.  I thought she would gag a little. 

By the way, my bean was brownish.  It was dirt.  Yuck.  I kept chewing, sure that I would be able to just chew and swallow.  Nope.  I did the best I could.  I spit it out into the napkin.  I tasted dirt for the next twenty minutes.  Nasty. 

But, it wasn’t sardine.  AND, I don’t have a gag reflex like my friend does.  Just to rest your minds, dear readers, she was back to laughing within an hour or so.  No, I’m kidding.  She was fine within a few minutes.  Truly, I’ve never seen anyone laugh and gag at the same time, but she was.  And, she was quite a trooper.

I did get me to thinking.  Even though all three of us are in our forties, we were doing some major peer pressure on each other.  Sure, this time it wasn’t drinking or drugs, but it was peer pressure all the same.  I really did feel guilty later on in the day.  I also found out later that the poor thing saw Planes, Trains, and Automobilesand a guy made this disgusting sound while clearing his throat.  When he did that, she threw up right into the bucket of popcorn.  If she’d shared that story with us, we would have let her off the hook.  I think.

So, children and adults alike, when it comes to peer pressure…JUST SAY NO!

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