Reflection on “Holding on to our Kids in a Peer Culture”

Mate, Gabor. (2010). Holding onto our kids in a peer culture. Education Canada 50(1),



Relationships, relationships, relationships! Is this what is missing in our students lives? Are the students too peer oriented to develop their own independence and maturity? Teaching middle school, I see more and more students who are behaving in ways that, at first, one may think it is to be the bad kid, the class clown. I have always been a believer in the ones that need our love and care the most go about it in all the wrong ways.

I am often connecting with the kids that act out, who are disrespectful and rude. I see that they are craving the connection with a safe adult who can provide them with a sense of belonging. They are looking to be seen and heard. Going back to The Circle of Courage, is this what has caused the broken circles? The loss of the parent/elder and child relationship?

I can see how peer connections begin to take over a child’s life. Everything is so connected through social media and instant gratification and the adults of this generation are still learning the ways of social media. We are unable to stay on top the digital world, we have no idea what are children are doing or who they are interacting with online. The adults are getting left behind and the connections to the children are getting lost.

How can we help foster the importance of healthy adult attachments? As educators we have an opportunity to model and create healthy relationships with our students.  We have the ability to connect with the students to help guide them creating and maintaining healthy relationships. We have the ability to create lessons and activities to model healthy and caring adult/child relationships. “Our children want to belong to us, even if they don’t know it or feel it, and even if their words or actions seem to signal the opposite. We can reclaim our proper role as their nurturers and mentors.” (Mate 2010)


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