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Chapter 3: Peer pressure is hard to resist

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Chapter 3 of 3 – This is a story that deals with the kind of peer pressure of someone who is always trying to borrow your things without ever paying those things back. Listen to how Jarvis learns to strengthen his ‘no muscles’ by setting firm boundaries with his possessions. Listen also how Jarvis learns the difference between the people in his life who are either users or real friends.

Peer Pressure is hard to resist

© 1999, 2014 by Debbie Dunn

Chapter 3: Showdown between Jarvis and Mike

The next day, Mike came up just before class and asked, "Hey, Jarvis? Can I borrow a pencil?"

Jarvis said, "Sorry, Mike! Only got the one."

Mike said, "Well, can I use it, Jarvis?"

Jarvis stared at Mike in shock and said, "No way, Mike! I need it myself."

Mike said, "All right. Don't have a cow, man!” And Mike strolled off.

At lunch, Mike came strolling up and said, "Hey, Jarvis? Can I borrow 40¢?"

Jarvis got brave. His ‘no muscle’ felt strong. He decided he didn't care if Mike wanted to be his friend or not. Jarvis challenged, "What do you mean, ‘borrow’? I've yet to see even a nickel back of all the money I've loaned you. So no way! This is my money, and I'm going to use it on me!"

Mike stood there for a moment, mouth agape. Finally he said, "All right, all right!” Still looking kind of shocked, Mike sauntered off.

Jarvis felt fine! Standing up for himself with Mike felt really good. Of course, he realized that there were worse kinds of peer pressure out there, but allowing himself to be taken advantage of day after day felt awful. He was determined to be through being anybody's walking mat. If somebody only liked him because of what he could give or loan, then that person wasn't a true friend anyway. From now on, he wanted to be equal partners with all of his friends. There had to be a balance between the giving and taking and not be all one-sided like his friendship with Mike had been.

Jarvis proudly walked up to the cashier and bought an ice cream. When he got back to the table, he saw one of the other guys give him the thumbs up sign. No words were said, but Jarvis realized that at least one of his other friends had noticed and was proud of him, too.

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Return to these Middle School lesson plans: Peer pressure is hard to resist (coming soon)

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See Debbie Dunn’s articles on | School Conflict Resolution | K-8 Classroom Activities | Women’s Health | Storytelling Website

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For comments or questions, e-mail: moredunntales@yahoo.com

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