For parents and children across the world, dealing with peer pressure situations is a real occurrence in almost every aspect of child development. As children start growing up, interacting with other kids of their age, they are subjected to many such situations, and many of these kids ultimately crumble.
The issue of what clothes and shoes to wear, what school to go to, how to behave in certain scenarios, and the more dangerous scenarios of drug and alcohol abuse comprise just some of the problems that families have to deal with on a regular basis. It is not unusual to see children fall victim to such pressure, and succumb to various temptations that could be harmful in the long run.
The Rise of Peer Pressure
It starts becoming a real influence in a child's life as he grows older. When kids are small, their minds are not developed enough to understand such things. But, as they grow older, more and more problems start arising. Some parents cannot believe that their child is pressuring another to do something wrong and immoral, but the truth of the matter is that this happens everywhere, and almost every child has been a part of both sides of the coin.
It is human nature to be influenced by someone, who is a part of your friend circle, and to be enticed to do whatever he/she is doing. Some researchers say that this is a good thing because it leads individuals to see more of the world and attempt to improve themselves. But, things take a turn for the worse, when some things arise regarding something illegal or immoral.
Shoplifting and substance abuse are two of the most commonly seen harmful effects of peer pressure because all parents believe that their child would not do something like that, without being influenced by their friends. This is true, but the decision ultimately lies in the hands of the child himself, and his upbringing and mindset will determine how strongly he has the ability to say no. This is something that has to be delicately taught to the child from a young age, and it cannot be enforced overnight. The parents must teach the child what is right and what is wrong, and must give him the confidence and the willpower to successfully say no to something that he believes is wrong.
There is a school of thought that believes, and this is not an unjustifiable opinion that such situations are a part and parcel of growing up. This is simply another way of looking at the survival of the fittest theory, and the reality is that whoever is strong enough to say no will lead a more fruitful and successful life.
Dealing With Such Situations
The secret behind successfully dealing with them is to have strong self-esteem, and knowing when to say no. It is the responsibility of the parents of a child to instill these qualities in him, and this is something that must be undertaken from a young age. If you, as a parent, are thinking about what you must do to ensure that your child deals with peer pressure, keep the following aspects in mind:
- Build and nurture a strong sense of self-esteem in your child. Teach him how to speak his mind and not be afraid of the repercussions.
- Teach him how to be assertive and give him the ability to voice his opinion without any fear.
- Ensure that he is aware that it is okay to ask adults for advice. Do not berate or scold him for bringing up such things; support him instead.
- Educate him about how some people will try and influence him, and this will help him to be better prepared for such a situation as and when it arises.
- Teach him about the dangers of alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and shoplifting from a young age.
- Set a good example for children.
These situations are very common, and this is something every child must endure. Do not live in denial, and assume that your kid will never be in such a situation. Be prepared and be smart, and your child will turn out just fine.