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Behavior: Social Skills, Self Esteem

Fitting in with other kids at school


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Jul 25, 2001 at 11:00:13 PM
Subject: Fitting in with other kids at school

I was told that it is very important to have my son dress like the other kids in middle school in order for him to be accepted. Does this actually help or has anyone found that this just makes your child more of a target?

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Aug 05, 2001 7:06:27 AM

What a good question. It would surprise me to know, though, that all the kids in your son's school dress exactly the same. As a middle school teacher I'd tell you that usually middle schoolers travel in groups and fashion choices vary from group to group.

There are some fashion choices which would fall outside the norm and might invite negative comments from others. I had a student last year who persisted in dressing like Pippi Longstocking - a movie character- right down to her polka-dotted stockings and her peers let her know they thought her clothes ridiculous.

Some boys persist in wearing baseball caps through middle school and pulling the brim way down over their eyes. I usually try to gently discourage this as it does label them as a "geek" to the other kids. Girls who keep wearing their hair in long braids can also risk being labeled in my school and I sometimes whisper to their mothes that a different hairstyle might make their middle school years happier ones.

What would your son wear to school if the choice was purely his? If it conforms to any one of the groups and has nothing about it that's too youthful, he should be fine.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Aug 22, 2001 3:14:38 PM

My son went to a regular middle school for two class periods a day and to an out-of-district placement for the most part of the day. I made a point to try and find clothes that worked as much as possible in both settings and I think it helped.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Oct 31, 2001 4:13:45 PM

Following a move to a new state, my son began at a middle school where he knew nobody. He dressed in sweatshirts and sweatpants all the time because (sensory integration issues), he hated the feel of nearly every other texture. Other kids teased him because of his clothes. The school principal requested a meeting with me and suggested I try to get him to wear jeans and tshirts as the other kids did. I'm grateful to her for that suggestion although at the time I remember feeling upset about the need for it. My son very grudgingly switched to tshirts but still wouldn't wear jeans. Eventually he accepted soft-brushed khakis. It really did make a difference for him.

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