Re: Should I be concerned about this?
posted at 7/5/2009 8:09 AM EDT
In Response to Re: Should I be concerned about this?
Well, I don't have any children, so I cannot really answer your question. However, do you really think your daughter is going to go through her entire life without ever having a piece of gum? I would be more worried about other things that can go on in middle school and beyond, rather than a harmless piece of gum.
Posted by princess-cal
I get along very well with this mother, and we are supportive of each other as our daughters are both innocent types who have been bullied, sometimes relentlessly. We solved this (knock on wood) with mine by placing her in a martial arts class. It turned out to be true what I heard - she never had to use it at school, but the mean kids just knowing she has the skill, keeps the bullies away. Also, the fact that she has a certain gift in another area, and has been publicly recognized for it (as in, a newspaper article about her; and a class award). So these two elements are outsider status of another sort, but in a positive way.
No, I don't think she'll be able to avoid gum. But why she should be the target of verbal bullying over it (as the mother implies she will be)? What is the difference betweeen saying no to gum, and not eating red meat? Plenty of middle school children are vegetarians (mine isn't). What is the difference between saying no to gum, and saying no to cigarettes? No, gum probably won't kill you, as tobacco will, but my point is that she should be able to stick up for her family rules and what she believes in.
Last night, after I posted, I was trying to decide if I was more perturbed by the mother trying to force her beliefs on my family, and if that was a part of all this. I decided I wasn't. What concerned me was yet another question to worry about in terms of peer pressure.
I almost decided to home-school, in fact (because our school district is so poor it really should be placed under state receivership), but I just don't have the money to stay home to do this, and she is still too young to be left at home for hours at a time. Gum, as you note princess-cal, is the least of it. But it's part of it. Why can't a family stick to its own values?
Why do children need gum, anyway, other than to lose weight or de-stress during the MCAS (I let her have gum during the MCAS)? Even sugarless hum has plenty of sugars that can rot the teeth - ask any dentist.
Plus, frankly, it looks crummy - to see someone chewing away. I think unless someone is trying to lose weight or quit smoking, gum chewing just looks impolite.
Is middle school that stressful these days that kids pick on each other over these choices? I told mine to blame it on her dentist (who doesn't want her chewing gum) or her mother, or both. But I don't feel she should feel under the proverbial gun to do that. If it helps her to blame us though, she can.
I do fear middle school, though (trying my best to hide this from her), for many reasons. We live in a frustratingly poor district, where teacher resources lack, and lots of children coming from financially-strapped homes in which a good number of the parents are either absent in their own way (working 10 jobs to make ends meet), or taking it out on their kids physically (I'm not making this up - we see it; it's documented). We can't afford to leave - not yet. I am making a career change in the hope of getting out of here. In my daughter's former school district, there was little to no peer pressure about even the choices which you might feel are picayune. Parents here don't talk to their kids - they insult them or slap it. I see it in the schoolyard; imagine what goes on at home.