When I go to a new 6th grade class I like to fit in 10 minutes for a story about my daughter and her 6th Grade Valentine’s Day Dance.
The Lesson – A True Story of Peer Pressure
I tell a story about my daughter who is in 6th Grade. She was invited to her Valentine’s Day Dance this year by 8 boys. This gets quite a response from both the girls and the boys.
I then ask if anyone can guess how many boys she said “No” to. They usually say 7. Some girls say “All”. The boys never make the assumption she would say “No” to everyone. After they are finished guessing I tell them “None“.
I then follow this up if they can guess how many boys she said “Yes” to. They come up with all kinds of answers. When they are done guessing the answer I tell them “None“.
This usually gets lots of raised eyebrows from the girls and mass confusion by the boys.
I then go on to explain to them that until they are well into their teens, no boy (or girl) has the right to ask a girl/boy to a dance or social function in school. And therefore girls should ignore and not respond. The boys will normally say this is not nice or polite. I remind them that it is far worse for the girls to have to respond to such questions that should NEVER be asked in the first place.
Reasons I tell the kids…
Most kids their age are happiest going to social functions and being with their friends, both boys and girls.
When a girl says “yes” to an invitation it can create a reputation for her she will never live down for the rest of her school days. This is not fair and completely unnecessary, and unacceptable. The same rule can apply for a boy but in our society boys don’t usually tease each other if they ask a girl on a date.
When a girl and boy do go to a dance or social function they are typically teased by other kids and come under great peer pressure to do things beyond their ages that they will personally regret afterward. I don’t explain what these things are.
So, the lesson is, until you are at the age that most kids are dating in class, don’t put each other in this unnecessary predicament. Be happy that you are friends and don’t try to change it.
If the kids ask me to quality “when” it is acceptable, I just say “Talk to your parents.” There are occasions when kids say they don’t live with their parents. For them I suggest when they are well into high school.
There are times when kids will blurt out that they have had many boy, or girl, friends already. I smile when I hear this and just remind the rest, just because they do what they do does not mean it is right and you don’t have to feel pressured because they are the minority, not the majority. Enjoy your age. You will wish you were still young when you grow up.