And so it begins… Peer Pressure at age 5!

Peer pressure age 5

The other morning as we were rushing around getting ready to go to school my son had a complete meltdown. He was choosing a toy to take to take with him to school and after more than 10 minutes rummaging around his endless toys he still couldn’t choose one.

“Please pick a toy and lets go” – I said but to no avail. He was just sitting there taking all the toys from the box and getting increasingly more and more frustrated with me rushing him.

“Please pick a toy NOW!” – I shouted. I had ran out of patience and I too was getting very frustrated with his behaviour and couldn’t understand why he was taking so long to pick a toy!

We were now very late for school and there was no way I could convince him to choose his toy and then in between all the shouting and crying he said: “…but mummy my toys are not strong or cool enough. My friends will make fun of me”.

WHAT?

“What do you mean? Has anyone said anything to you?” To which he replied that sometimes his friends make fun of his toys particularly when he won’t let them play with them and say that if he won’t lend them his toys they won’t be his friend anymore.

I was shocked. I felt awful for shouting at him. He was just so upset and worried about his friends making fun of his toys.

In my defence I was totally caught of guard by this. I was prepared for my son to have to deal with peer pressure at some point during his school years but surely not this early in the game! I mean these kids still need help to wipe their bum, cross the road safely and can’t even tell the time yet. How can they be so mean and intimidating?

Now for the biggest of the challenges: How can I explain peer pressure to my extremely sensitive 5 year old and reduce his anxiety?

I had no idea but I had to think of something fast as by then we were extremely late for school. I kept it simple and said to him that his real friends would still be his friends independent of which toys he prefers to play with. I explained that sometimes people make fun of other’s things when they are jealous. Maybe they wanted to play with his toys and they just didn’t know how to ask. I also tried to explain that if everyone was the same, behaved the same and liked the same things the world would be a very boring place.

I’m not sure how much he really grasped or how much he took in but he did calm down and we manage to get to school only about 5 minutes late!

The last thing I want is for my son to succumb to peer pressure (intentional or not).

Has anything like this ever happened to your little one? What would you do if it happened to you?

Love, P

13 comments

  1. Nooooo! Aged 5. It’s just too little. We all know children can be mean, but so young, I’m not ready for that at all. We haven’t experienced it yet so I have no words of wisdom for you. Sorry. #stayclassymama

  2. Let’s spin this around the other way: Your brave boy had the tools to share some very vulnerable feelings with you, at the age of 5. That is awesome. You are doing wonderfully! It’s all crazy and chaotic, and he will be fine! #stayclassymama xoxo

  3. That is so sad that this is happening at such a young age. But in one way or another it will happen through out life. All you can finish teach him how best to react to it. #stayclassymama

  4. Yep totally sucks, I wish we could protect them but one day they will have to fend for themselves. Just break your heart but at least there are other beautiful moments to make these situations less painful X #stayclassymama

  5. Oh wow this is a tough one, especially being such awkward timing. Sounds like you pulled it out the bag in a pinch! I would definitely mention it discreetly to his teacher though. #stayclassymama

  6. Oh no! So much heartache over toys. ๐Ÿ™
    I want to feel like my son won’t be that materialistic and attached to his toys…but I was the same way at that age. My friends always seemed to have the cool things that I didn’t.
    What can we do? *shrug*

    These are the reasons I want my son to be one forever…he just needs a remote to chew on and he’s in Heaven.

  7. I’m a teacher and peer pressure is an awful thing! Stick to your guns and he will be okay. It is shocking that it is occurring at such a young age though. #stayclassymama

  8. Wow! That’s scary to think that kids of that age are feeling pressure like this. But I suppose this is part of growing up and when he looks back he probably won’t even remember this, but it will have helped shape him. Shame it’s stressing him out though. I hope he had a nice day when he got there.

  9. My daughter is still too young to really understand or experience peer pressure, but it sounds like you explained it really well. Parenting always throws new challenges at us, doesn’t it? #stayclassymama

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