When I was in junior high Roy and his family moved into my neighborhood. They were immigrants from Indonesia and didn’t speak English.
Roy was a fun guy with a great personality, a smile that was always present, and a desire to fit in with his new American friends. Culturally he was out of place, didn’t know the social mores, and his language skills made him an easy target for cruelty.
Some classmates got great pleasure encouraging him do inappropriate things that led him into trouble. For example, once they encouraged him to approach a girl and make vulgar and inappropriate comments. Another time his “friends” led Roy into more trouble when they made the principal the target of their cruelty.
As the year proceeded, his so called friends continued to goad Roy into more and more activities that became increasingly more serious and destructive. For some reason, perhaps because he wanted to be accepted, he chose to continue this association.
One of parents’ big concerns is how well their children will be able to adjust, live, and function in society. Using Roy’s story as an example, I believe parents can prevent a similar problems by helping their children understand that they cannot control the actions of others but they control their reactions. Helping our children learn that controlling their reactions leads to making wise decisions is a resiliency skill worth developing.
Share This Article: