Peer Pressure?

We’ve had two incidents this year where a child will ask G to hurt someone else.  One was shortly after school began in the fall and the other was this week.  In both cases, G will hit the other child, “because my friend asked me to.”  He’s given similar reasons for less alarming examples, like he chases two girls at recess because they ask him to.  (I make sure he also stops when they ask him to)  We’re working hard to teach G that when a friend asks him to do something, he needs to evaluate if it is a good favor or a bad favor and if it is bad he should not comply.  I’m struggling to come up with a social story that will get the point across but for some reason I can’t come up with the words – my stories are horribly convoluted.

If anyone has any experience with this or any suggestions or has a social story that works, I welcome any advice.  I’m very concerned about this and would like to address it at the kindergarten level.  You know, before he starts stealing cars ‘because a friend asked him to.’

Published in: on January 10, 2009 at 1:10 am  Comments (4)  

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  1. The best “social story” that comes to mind is the Golden Rule. What child can not put himself in the position of the child that he hit or chased? I’m reminded of a day when my two youngest children, who are only seventeen months apart, were constantly bickering, and it go to the point where they were throwing things at each other and kicking each other from opposite ends of the couch. (Even when they’re in “hate” mode, they don’t like to be too far apart!) I finally asked them how THEY would feel if, when Papa and I got on each other’s nerves or made each other mad, WE started throwing things around, started kicking or hitting each other? Asked them to really picture it and imagine how that would make them feel! It made a big impression on them! Ask G how he would feel if someone hit HIM because THEIR friend asked him too… I think it would make him see it in a different light. In Grumble Bluff, my young adult novel, I address the issue of bullying and peer pressure and their impact on adolescents– I hope I can make a small impact on children by having them put themselves in the shoes of my characters. Good luck with your amazing little boy! He’ll be fine, and so will you. Karen Bessey Pease, author of juvenile fiction,

  2. “What child can not put himself in the position of the child that he hit or chased?”

    A child with Asperger’s. Well, my child with Aspergers. I’m sure it’s not a good idea to generalize. I appreciate your suggestion and will check out your stories to see if there is something there I can use. Thank you.

  3. I don’t have a social story, but my son loved the Arthur TV series episode called “Buster and the Daredevils”. It really hammers home the idea that you shouldn’t do something just because someone tells/dares you to. If they do, you can say, “If that’s such a good idea, YOU do it yourself.”

    Worked for us.

  4. Thanks, Mara! Griff likes Arthur so I’ll have to find that episode. I think teaching him to tell someone to do it themselves is also a good idea.

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