chapter  14
13 Pages

Tell Me Master What to Do! I’ll Do Anything To Be Popular Like You

Children oft en yearn to become a member of the most popular group at school and sometimes will do anything to make that happen. Th ey might be willing to compromise personal values to be included. One youngster, for example, might command and exploit another child to steal, lie, or give them the answers on a test. Some boys might be ordered to hand over their best toys with the promise that these acts will gain them popularity. In the end, the child loses out, is placed in a subservient role, and oft en ends up being ridiculed. Unfortunately, such social failures do not prevent vulnerable children from trying these same approaches over and over. Learning healthy ways to assert oneself with peers, while remaining true to oneself, is at the heart of the matter, a task for all people, children, and adults (Heaney & Israel, 2002; Pipher, 1994). Th e following letter was written to help the groups explore the price that some friendships have for children, while also evoking the related issues of identity and social alienation.