Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Reading The Times -- Robin

I would love to be boastful and say, “I read the New York Times!” But I don’t. I read articles in the New York Times…not the whole thing. I would love to read it from front to back, but I simply don’t have the time. (Who knew getting the consistency right on my smoothie every morning would be so time consuming!)

My husband loves to read it cover to cover and hands it over to me with particular articles he wants me to read circled in black ink. Sometimes they’re articles about politics, sometimes they’re articles about fuel consumption, but usually they’re articles to help me with book ideas. Like the one about the teenagers who did a school research project on the type of fish used in sushi restaurants. (Be careful…that bluefin tuna might really be tilapia!)

But this last article he gave me was about teenagers. And popularity. And how popularity (or lack of it) when we’re teenagers can be an indicator of our future success as adults. And it’s not what you think! (Hence, the reason I love reading the New York Times.)

The article suggests that kids who are likeable seem to have more success outside of high school than kids who are prominent. Researchers asked teens questions about who is popular in their school and who is not. Then they asked them who’d they like to hang out with most on Saturday night. And the answers were different. They weren’t the “popular” kids, they were a different category of kid. To quote the article: “(those students) tend to have closer friendships, to excel academically and to get on well with most others, including parents—their own and their friends.” The researchers also concluded “this group is characterized by a degree of openness to strong emotional experience. These are very, very socially skilled kids who are really able to master the intricacies of diverse social situations.”

These kids are likeable. Which is cool to think that the A-list popular kids don’t always end up being the most successful. It sounds like the smart, nice ones get to rock in the future! (Can you tell I was never on the A-list?)

But now this whole thing is making me very curious about my high school reunion…

- Robin


Kim said...

Very interesting article. As a mom who is watching her tween sort out all the social awkwardness, I've been thinking about this a lot. At our school, it seems the moms who were Queen Bees are teaching their daughters the same dirty tricks. If that's what "popularity" is, we want nothing to do with it. It's great to see "proof" that being the nice kid pays off.

Suzanne Young said...

What a great article and I think it's definitely true.

I noticed when I went back home that the boys who ignored me in high school were now all pathetic, clinging to their high school popularity, and even hitting on me! Gross. (Think Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion)

I called it justice, Karma, awesome... but I guess this explanation works well too! haha

And yeah, when does being likeable NOT lead to success? Now I'll just have to get my daughter to realize this before she gets beat up in school. hahahahaha

Disco Mermaids said...

Kim, that's such a good point about the Queen Bee moms teaching their daughters to do the same. When I was a teacher, I remember there always being one class each year that had all the Power Parents. Certain parents like to hang together and they want their kids to do the same thing.

And Suzanne, watching some of "Sophie's Chronicles" I know she is VERY likeable. (And so adorable!!!)


p.s. I loved Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion!

Debby G said...

Thanks for pointing out that article. Very interesting! Especially, I thought, about the study in which kids brought together from different schools would quickly assume their social roles in the new group.

My goal is to raise my kids to be nice people. I don't want them to be unpopular, but I don't care whether they're especially popular or not.

Shay Atchison said...

I need to find this article! As a 36 yr old media specialist who was well liked and involved in HS but not "popular" by adolescent terms, I find this QUITE interesting. Thanks for sharing. I came upon this site looking for a way to contact Jay Asher, as our school book club is about to begin
Th1rteen Reasons Why, and I would love to have him call or correspond through our blog after we read. www.sehsbooks.blogspot.com

Alex White said...

what do you mean you weren't "A-List"? don't try and fool these people. of course you were a-list. why do you think i hung around you so much? i was trying to improve my social standing...as for our high school reunion i vow to provide you with all the scoop on everyone. wish me luck.

Disco Mermaids said...

Oh, Alex! How quickly we forget! Um...like...remember the entire homecoming court?

And yes, you'd better report back from the reunion with all the details. And pictures, too!