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  1. #1
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    Default Kids 'fitting in' and 'being popular'

    Various conversations with friends lately and the bullying thread got me thinking -

    How much do you raise your kids with the focus of them fitting in and being popular?

    If this is a big focus for you, why? Is it to prevent bullying, because you believe it will help their self esteem, or a reflection of how you felt as a child?

    I'm a little surprised how many people I know of base a great number of choices on making sure their kids are cool and popular, from someone I know being worried that her book loving three year old will be a nerd, from parents trying to make sure their toddlers like the popular tv shows to other parents choosing education choices based largely on their kids being popular if they make that choice.

    Maybe I'm biast because I've never really given a rats about conforming or fitting in. I don't *want* to click with everyone because it would mean I don't have much of my own identity, and if I don't fit in with a group I just find people I have more in common with.

    Obviously I want my kids to have rich and happy lives but their future peer popularity hasn't really altered my plans.

    Your thoughts?

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    Default Kids 'fitting in' and 'being popular'

    Good thread!

    My oldest is only 2.5 but I have never even thought this or tried to 'encourage' her to do/play with certain things/children as she seems to have her own mind made up about it anyway!

    Don't look or talk to her until she's ready! She is an observer and then once she feels comfortable she will do her own thing (under our guidance and supervision of course). That may take a few minutes, a few hours or even a few times before she begins to let her guard down.

    Is that the sort of answer you were after, or have I totally gone off track? LOL.

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    Default Kids 'fitting in' and 'being popular'

    I'd make decisions for what my kids want, not what other kids will think is cool or popular.

  4. #4
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    Default Kids 'fitting in' and 'being popular'

    I will encourage my children to be themselves, not conformists.
    If they like something different that makes them happy then that's great!

    I think parents with mind frames like you described are just putting pressure on their children to fit in and are no different to their peers really.

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    "being popular" is very distant from the actual concerns I have about my children's future.


    I try to show them how to accept others and treat people well, with the hope that they will recognise and stand up against intolerance.

    I encourage them to come and talk to me about anything and try my best not to dismiss them.

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    I don't give a stuff if my kids fit in or are popular. I do however want them to have friends and respect for their peers. I think it's sucky parenting trying to fit your child into a certain cliche and would cause more self esteem issues then not. I know a few parents that have toddlers and buy them $100+ shoes, clothes etc. when they can't afford them to make sure they are up to scratch with the latest trends and I never really understood why, but each to their own.

    I should add that my kids play alot of sport, they are enrolled in several different kinds and affiliated with a few different clubs so they are very social children, they enjoy sport, it raises their self esteem and keeps us all busy. I guess when I think back on my school years the "popular" kids were usually the ones doing the bullying, smoking, drugs, drinking, underage sex etc. personally i'd be trying to avoid them socialising with others like that.

    At the moment though, I'm happy to just go with the flow, my eldest starts school next year and it's something that crosses my mind from time to time but he has never had trouble making friends, I've only ever encouraged him to be himself and respect his friends.

    Sorry if that post was a bit all over the place, kept thinking of things to add so forgive me if it doesn't make much sense.

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    Default Kids 'fitting in' and 'being popular'

    Quote Originally Posted by babylove81 View Post
    Is that the sort of answer you were after, or have I totally gone off track? LOL.
    Oh there is no track, you don't have to conform here

  9. #8
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    I would prefer it if DD has friends. At least 1 friend. I don't care if those friends are "cool" or "nerdy" or whatever. In fact I probably have a preference against her being in the "cool" crowd.

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    Default Kids 'fitting in' and 'being popular'

    I just want my kids to be who they are.

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    It's not something I have ever really thought about or am concerned about

    So long as DD has social skills, is confident and the ability to makes friends, how popular she is at school is not important.

    She dressed as she likes (and as we like!).
    She plays the sports she likes.
    She does everything she likes (books, puzzles, craft).
    She has some interesting fascinations...but they're just personality quirks that we love.

    I would never want to force her to be something that she is not just so she can be popular...


 

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