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If you have knowledge,let others light their candles in it. Margaret Fuller.

Is peer pressure killing your kid?

Posted on August 3, 2016 at 11:21 am

Is peer pressure killing your kid? Peers play a large role in the social and emotional development of children and adolescents. Their influence begins at an early age and increases through the teenage years. It is natural, healthy and important for children to have and rely on friends as they grow and mature. Kids learn from each other, it’s human nature to listen and learn from other people. Peers can have a positive and negative influence on each other. It’s common to find kids learning from peers in schools. Maybe another student in class has an easier way remember the planets in the solar system. Kids admire a friend who is always a good sport and try to be more like him or her. Maybe your kid got others excited about his new book, and now everyone's reading it. Sometimes peers influence each other in negative ways as well. For example, a few kids in school might try to get you to miss class with them, or football friends may convince you to be mean to another player and never pass her the ball, or a kid in the neighbourhood might want you to shop lift with him. Some kids give in to peer pressure because they want to be liked, to fit in, or because they worry that other kids might make fun of them if they don't go along with the group. Some others kids go along because they are curious to try something new that peers are doing. The idea that "everyone's doing it" can influence some kids to leave their better judgment, or their common sense, behind. It is tough to be the only one who says "no" to peer pressure, but kids need to learn it. It’s important for parents to teach how paying attention to your own feelings and beliefs about what is right and wrong can help know the right thing. Inner strength and self-confidence can help children stand firm, walk away, and resist doing something. It can really help to have at least one more friend who is willing to say "no" too. This takes a lot of the power out of peer pressure and makes it much easier to resist. It's great for kids to have friends with values similar to their own, who can back them up when they don't want to do something. Teaching kids "choose your friends wisely" is important. If your kid’s choose a friend who don't have wrong habits, cut class, or lie to their parents, then your kid probably won't do these things either. Also helping a friend who's having trouble resisting peer pressure will go a long way. It can be powerful for one kid to join another by simply saying, "I'm with you — let's go." Help your child understand, even if he faces peer pressure while he is alone, there are still things he can do. He can simply stay away from peers who pressure him to do stuff he knows is wrong. Handy tips to avoid your child from facing pressure
  • Parents should talk to kids often and keep themselves updates about what’s happening in school and also about peer behaviour. Knowing the situation well will help you better handle critical situations.
  • Parents can use story telling with helpful morals to teach correct actions and how to stand firm with your decision. It will also strengthen the parent child bond.
  • Parents can adopt ways to imbibe the strength of Indian culture and history. This will enable them to know how important it is to make right decision at right time.
If your child continues to face peer pressure and you're finding it difficult to handle, talk to someone you trust. Don't feel guilty if you've made a mistake or two. Confronting things to teacher, or school counsellor can help your child feel much better and prepare him for the next time he faces peer pressure.