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The MASK Academy is a year-long multi-tiered peer-to-peer program that aims to build social and emotional skills in children while helping the school create a positive climate in a manner that helps teachers and school administrators meet educational standards.

Our goal is to improve school climate, build healthy children, and strengthen parent-child bonds through psycho educational information, classroom-based activities, and education on current trending topics through the MASK Academy and MASK The Magazine.

The Parent University is an important part to the MASK Academy. Establishing ongoing communication with your child on these social situations will help lead them to healthy choices.


Did you know?

Peer Pressure leads to low self esteem, emotional damage, early substance abuse and loss of self control.

Your child was educated today on Peer Pressure – Creating confidence in kids to take ownership of their choices.

shutterstock_329020004Each MASK lesson that your child is taught has a MASK kid story. MASK uses a storytelling approach to enhance the learning experience. This is also a great way to initiate conversation about their lesson. Simply ask them what they learned about Aimee.

So that you are aware, Aimee is in 5th grade. In our story, Aimee tried out for the soccer team with her friends. She thinks the game is really fun and is excited when she makes the team. Quickly after, however, some of her friends pressure her into making fun of some of the girls who did not make the team. Making fun of the other girls didn’t feel right to Aimee, so she learned how to listen to her body and how to take a stand against peer pressure.

Peer pressure is very present in elementary and middle schools. We want you to be able to have conversations with your children about peer pressure and how to say no. Ask your child about Aimee’s story. Tell them that you hope they would talk to you if something like that ever happened to them.





What you can do?

Being there: With all the turmoil that can result from the emergence of peer pressure in your child’s life, it’s more important now than ever for parents to be there for their kid—

even if they aren’t the first ones the child turns to.By the time kids get to middle school, peer relationships are their No. 1 priority, and children who succumb to peer pressure often are those same youngsters who weren’t able to form friendships, the kinds that are constructive and rewarding, when they were younger.

Parents need to accept that they’re going to be second fiddle to their kid’s friends for a while; it’s normal, but it doesn’t mean parents lose their parental role.

Clear Boundaries: Start when your children are young to have clear expectations for their behavior. Talk to your kids and teens about different subjects of interest. Health and Human Services reports that 59.8% of teenagers that talk with their parents about the dangers of substance use (including alcohol) are more likely to abuse such substances.

More Listening less talking:  The best things to do is listen. “Most of us like to talk and give advice about our own lives and what we’ve learned, wishing we hadn’t made all the mistakes we made,”  “Try this trick: Every time I want to say something, I literally swallow my words. You should be listening a lot more than talking. Ask them what they want. Say, ‘Do you want me to give you advice? Or do you just want me to listen?’ They’ll tell you.

And by doing so, you’re going to give them more choices and you’re giving them more coping mechanisms.”And don’t worry; there’s no such thing as the perfect parent.  Parenting, as most folks know, exists in context, she says. How you do it depends upon how tired you are, what else is on your plate, how you’re getting along with your spouse and any other myriad variables. And even the most loving, well-meaning parent won’t always get it right.

Ask questions:“How do you think I feel” and “how do you feel about…”and gets the child’s point of view. In this way, the child learns empathy because he learns to recognize feelings, she says, and it’s an ideal way to handle situations revolving around peer pressure. For example,  a parent might ask is, “Can you think of a different way to solve this problem so your friend won’t be mad?” By coming up with their own solutions, kids feel empowered to take action. Children are more likely to carry out their own ideas, In addition, this approach aids those kids who are the perpetrators of peer pressure, because many of those kids haven’t developed genuine empathy for others, she says. And if a child doesn’t care about his own feelings, he won’t care about anyone else., recommends asking kids questions in an effort to combat peer pressure at school. They include:

What are your hopes and dreams?

What might happen to your hopes and dreams if you smoke cigarettes, or try drugs?

How will you feel about that?

Can you think of something you can do or say so those things won’t happen?

“When you ask a child a question, instead of telling him what to do or explaining why, it’s a way to start a conversation. And if you start dialoguing with children when they’re younger, and before peer pressure enters into their lives, they’ll learn how to deal with things when they come and develop thinking skills for handling problems relevant to them when they’re 14.”

Conversation Starters

I noticed that you did exactly what your friend told you to do. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. Everyone can do what they want.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to stand up for what you want. Let’s practice until you feel confident in asking for what you want or need.”

“When I’m in a situation where I want to do something, but I know there could be negative consequences, I create a list of pros and cons to help me make my decision. This might help you too.

Another activity you can do with your child is create a list of what makes a good friend and what negative social influence looks like.

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