Wanting to feel part of something can put pressure on a teen to act in
certain ways. If they’re doing something they wouldn’t normally do, or are
not doing something they’d like to do, simply so that they’ll be accepted
by the people they hang out with, they’re suffering from peer pressure.
Peer pressure can influence:
* the way someone dresses or wears their hair
* the activities they get involved in
the music they listen to
* the decisions made about using drugs and alcohol
* who they date
* who they’re friends with.
The pressure to act in a certain way can be:
- 1) direct: someone telling the teen what they should be doing
- 2) indirect: the teen's group of friends might do certain activities together that they’re unlikely to do outside of that group
- 3) self-motivated: putting pressure on the teen to fit in with their
friendship group, because of certain standards they’ve set or comments
Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight, peer pressure is a pivotal catalyst
for the turn of events in the story. Daniel is a superhero in primary
school and the beginning of high school. Things change in Year Eight,
and with taunting, bullying and pressure on him, Daniel goes against the
rules set down in the Scrivener book. Consequences await him upon
disobeying the rules.
Scrivener book is a present that was given to Daniel's grandmother by a
magi when she was traveling through Egypt. It was then passed down to
Daniel's mother and then to himself.
Power or Blight there are some references to Egypt with the Mummy's
curse. At the end of the story, Grandma decides that they need to go
back to Egypt to stop the blight. It is in the second book that the
pyramids, pharoahs, mummies and the ancient Egyptian world is explored.
Some fun facts about ancient Egypt:
- 1) Egyptian men and women wore makeup. It was thought to have healing powers, plus it helped protect their skin from the sun.
- 2) They used mouldy bread to help with infections.
- 3) They were one of the first civilizations to invent writing. They also used ink to write and paper called papyrus.
- 4) The Ancient Egyptians were scientists and mathematicians. They
had numerous inventions including ways to build buildings, medicine,
cosmetics, the calendar, the plow for farming, musical instruments, and
- 5) Ancient Egypt plays a major role in the Bible. The Israelites
were held captive there as slaves for many years. Moses helped them
escape and led them to the Promised Land.
- 6) The Pharaoh kept his hair covered. It was not to be seen by regular people.
- 7) Cats were considered sacred in Ancient Egypt.
As with most of my books, bullying is featured in By Power or Blight. Daniel is called names and taunted, until he explodes.
Bullying goes hand-in-hand with negative peer pressure.
So what is bullying?
The national definition of bullying for Australian schools says:
Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert).
Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.
Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.
In the story, Daniel is bullied because he is picked on by many children; some like Ethan and his mate have it in for him. Daniel is physically and verbally picked on. After things start going bad, he becomes isolated from his friends.
In By Power or Blight, the school does not action to stop the bullying - this is all part of the Mummy's Blight. But in reality there are policies and procedures that schools need to follow.
These strategies could include:
- * teaching and learning programs to develop students communication, social, assertiveness and coping skills
- * changes to the school environment to improve teacher supervision, such as removing visual barriers between teacher and students
- * increasing supervision of students at particular times or places
- * support from a guidance officer or school counsellor
- * changes to technology access at school
- * timetable or class changes that may be temporary or permanent to decrease the contact the students have with each other
- * class discussions of bullying including underlying issues and possible responses for students
- * promoting positive bystander behaviour
- * disciplinary action against students who bully others.
An action plan may be developed for the child and any other children involved. Strategies for use at home may also be included in a plan.