Peer Pressure and How to Help Kids Handle ItPosted: June 22, 2015
What is Peer Pressure? Dictionary defines peer pressure as ‘the social influence a peer group exerts on its individual members, as each member attempts to conform to the expectations of the group.’ In simple terms, if your kid wishes to do something that would project him/her cool in his/her group, without a personal liking towards it – this should ring a bell of peer pressure in your mind. It is most likely that this pressure would encourage your child to develop certain unhealthy habits. Here in this blog, we’ll attempt to make you aware of the ways to handle and overcome peer pressure.
Why Your Children Fall Prey to Peer Pressure? Most probable cause of falling prey to peer pressure is desire to be liked and admired by the group or influencers of the group. Children also give in to peer pressure because they are worried of being rejected or made fun of. Some go ahead with it, just to curb their curiosity and others get influenced to try out what everyone else is doing. A few other likely reasons can be – not being sure of what to do, don’t know how to say a ‘no’, and don’t want to feel awkward of having difference of opinion with the group. How it Can Affect Mostly the peer pressure is associated with increased negative or risky behaviors in kids and adolescents. As human tendency, children are more prone to adapting to negative behavior than to positives and peer-pressure accelerates the rate. Generally peer-pressure is held responsible for smoking, cheating, shoplifting, bullying, and unethical and unsafe use of cell phones and social media by kids and adolescents. It also boosts physical abuse and violence among middle and high school students. Although peer pressure is mostly associated with negative behavior, but when in moderation, it also helps build some positive behavior in your children. It supports children to adjust in a group, it also encourages them to try new sports, activities, food, music, etc. Additionally, it motivates children to meet new people and workout the difference of opinions. It’s just that you have to be little aware of what’s going on in your kids day-to-day life to ascertain whether the peer-pressure is helping or breaking him/her.
How You Can Help Kids Deal with Peer Pressure Positively –
- Teach Them to Say ‘No’
Saying a ‘No’ to something that everyone around you is doing is a little difficult. But teaching your child to take the right decision is very important. One of the best ways to teach is to do a role-play with your kids and train them to say a ‘no’ during various obnoxious situations
- Build Good Self-Esteem in Your Kids
Are you too chicken? Is the common phrase used by influencers to prey upon group members. Teach your kids to be high on self-esteem and not to fall prey to such phrases. Studies show that children who are happy inside and feel good about themselves, are more likely to make better choices and resist negative peer pressure. So, do make it a point to appreciate your children for small achievements and reward them positively.
- Help Them Choose Their Friends Wisely
Children learn a lot from their friends and surroundings during their growth years, it is very important to interact with them regularly to be sure of their learnings. Friends and peer play a very important role in shaping up kid’s behavior. Help your kids choose friends with good moral values, virtues and superior self-esteem – this will go a long way in keeping your child away from unwanted peer pressure and risky behavior.
- Get Involved in Your Kids’ Lives
To make your kids listen to you and follow the rules made by you, it is very important to get involved with them in their lives. Take interest in their friends, their likes, and their fears. Do talk to them about their interest, aspirations, how they are spending their leisure time, who is new on their social network. Getting involved with your kids boost his/her confidence and helps him/her make an informed decision and avoid unnecessary peer pressure.
- Read and Be Informed
Keeping yourself updated with the latest in the worlds of kids is an important key to mould your kids positively. Keep a close watch on how kids this age use the latest technology, how they learn from social media, what are the most influencing factors in their lives, and how they express their anger and non-conformity. The more you know, the better you can equip them to fight the evils of negative peer pressure. We believe, by making little changes to your behavior towards your kids, you can help them to cope up with the evils of negative peer pressure. Interacting with children gives you good insights into what’s cooking in their minds and it can help you to mold your kids positively. Stay updated and keep your kids safe! Don’t forget to comment if you have some more suggestions. Image credits – Google images