HERE IS THE SOLUTION TO HANDLE PEER PRESSURE
Trying to seem cool, wanting to be liked, fear of criticism – these are some of the reasons why children give into peer pressure. It is not something we can escape from; as long as we remain social animals, all of us are subject to peer pressure at all stages in our lives. Adults have come quite a distance in life to have some understanding and clarity about their needs, desires, and capabilities and hence are better equipped to handle peer pressure without giving in or buckling up. But the condition and mentality of children is way different especially those of adolescents. Teens and preteens start developing certain notions and have an utmost longing to be appreciated and liked. Coupled with their raging hormones, their emotions can play truant if not channelized in the right direction.
Peer pressure can be both positive or be detrimental depending on the peers themselves. By sheer virtue of spending time with them, we inadvertently allow our current and future personality to be shaped by them. “A man is known by the company he keeps” holds true at all ages and stages – especially during growing up years which define the child’s adult personality to a large extent.
Some may have admiration for a friend’s math abilities and some for an extroverted person. Yet others may hold a sportsperson in high regard and try to emulate his/her qualities or skills to become like them. These more often than not yield constructive results. But there are a few negative traits too as meanness exists at all ages. Jealousy, for instance, may drive a child to wean his/her academically proficient friend from studies and indulge in ungainly activities. There are also instances where the child willingly follows a popular student and is ready for anything to fit into their “popular” clan unwillingly without any external peer pressure.
Unavoidable and neutral areas of peer pressure are about following latest trends in clothes, hairstyle, makeup, music or books and are in fact healthy. What parents need to watch out for are noticeable changes in schedule, food habits, spending too much time outside or on phone, or sudden change of behavior. Adolescents are at an age which does not differentiate right from wrong or good from bad – all it seeks is attention from a person they admire.
Becoming a parent automatically raises our senses, awareness, and instincts about our children and we need to keep our antennae alert on a subconscious level. Any complaints from teachers, neighbors or other friends should not be ignored completely. Children likely to be affected by negative peer pressure are those with low confidence levels and it is the duty of parents to give them a conducive atmosphere at home to allow free talks and open discussions. Opening their eyes to a wider world and more people gives them many perspectives and allowing them to talk and makes minor decisions imbibes confidence and form right or wrong opinions and also the courage to stand up against negative values.
“Stop trying to fit in when you should stand out” – living it up and walking the talk ourselves helps children imbibe the values themselves.
Samsiddh schools believe in overall development and nurturing basic human values to give back to the society better individuals and not just efficient ones. Click on the link below to register your child for a better future.