It was my weekend to volunteer in my daughter’s preschool Sunday school class, and the two girls I chatted with were insistent.
|Don't follow the crowd!|
“His name is Justin BEAV-er,” one proclaimed, clearly exasperated at having to pronounce his name for me. “It’s not Bee-ber. It’s BEAV-er!”
“I love his music,” the other girl confessed.
I found the entire conversation highly amusing, but then I glanced over at my daughter, Megan, sitting alone at the other end of the snack table, left out of the discussion. In our house, children’s bards like Steve Songs and Raffi reign. She has no clue who Justin Bieber – sorry, I mean Justin Beaver – is.
So here, at 4 years old, it all begins. The pop culture trends. The peer pressure. That feeling that everyone else is two steps ahead. One of the things I love most about being an adult is that I can leave all that behind. Except now I must watch my own daughters navigate the same tumultuous classrooms, playgrounds, and even youth groups, all populated with young people unsure of themselves, still learning, and most of them desperate to not stick out any more than necessary.
My husband and I are just beginning to talk about how we will guide our daughters through their school years. We know they will encounter kids whose values differ vastly from ours. How do we help them manage when the cafeteria lunch table conversation revolves around a television show they don’t watch? Our daughters will likely struggle more because, for personal and financial reasons, we have cut cable television. How do we help them save face when they’re teased for not wearing the coolest fashions? For having the most basic cell phone? For being kind to the unpopular kids?