Has your shy and obedient kid suddenly become more demanding or even a rebel? Does your kid suddenly seem overly excited about things and people? Well, if you have been noticing your kid’s odd behavior of late it’s time to give potential peer pressure a thought! Read on to know more about the peer pressure scenarios for kids.
Your kid’s attitude and personality may undergo a sea change overnight all thanks to peer pressure! Is the mere thought of your innocent kid going wayward due to peer pressure making you break out in a cold sweat already? Worry not! Give this article a read to know how peer pressure can affect your kid and how you can help your child keep its negative influence at bay.
Peer Pressure Definition For Kids:
According to popular belief, peer pressure only affects teenagers. But if you thought this to be true, think again. A study at the University of Maryland reveals that peer pressure influences your kid much earlier and at a younger age than researchers earlier thought. Peer pressure can begin as early as the time when your kid is around the age of nine years, or as soon as he enters elementary school! (1)
[ Read: How To Understand Children Psychology ]
Why Do Kids Succumb To Peer Pressure?
There are various reasons that may make your kid succumb to peer pressure. Here are some of the most common causes of peer pressure for kids:
- Your kid may want to ‘fit in’ and be like the rest of the kids he sees around him.
- Your kid may want to emulate and imitate another kid whom he likes and looks up to.
- Your kid may simply find some mannerisms and activities of other kids appealing and mysterious. He may want to try them out himself.
- Your kid may face bullying due to his mannerisms or activities and wants to avoid it.
[ Read: How To Build Confidence In Kids ]
What Are The Negative Aspects Of Peer Pressure?
In most cases, peer pressure can negatively affect your child’s behavior in the following ways:
- Your kid may secretly start smoking or drinking.
- Your kid may start lying to avoid unpleasant conversations at home.
- Your kid may start experimenting with drugs.
- Your kid may start exploring more physical options like self-stimulation or sharing intimacy with other kids.
- Your kid may get into unsafe online habits or become a social media addict.
- Your kid may start shoplifting, cheating and even stealing.
[ Read: How to Talk to Your Child About Bullying ]
Can Peer Pressure Also Have A Positive Impact?
Peer pressure is largely synonymous with negative influence. But in some cases, it can have a positive effect too! Consider the following situations:
- Your kid may start working harder to get better grades in class.
- Your kid may bond with a person who can be a good role model. It will ensure that whenever your kid is not comfortable to express his concerns at home, he has a responsible companion to share his feeling with.
- Your kid may start meeting new people and become more social.
- Your kid may find motivation to take up a new activity like sports, music, etc.
- Your kid may strike friendships that may last a lifetime.
- Your kid may become more caring, responsible and loyal in order to become trustworthy.
[ Read: Stress Management For Children ]
How To Help Kids Overcome Peer Pressure?
Here are a few things you can try out that will help your kid avoid negative peer pressure (2):
- Teach your kid to say ‘no’ when he does not feel comfortable about doing something.
- Tell your kid that you love him unconditionally for the way he is.
- Never compare your kid to anyone else. If you are worried about him, try to help him instead of stressing him further.
- Always listen to your kid and show him that you always have time for him. Your kid should feel that you are always available in case he needs your advice or simply wants to share something.
- Tell your kid that he should stay away from those who do wrong or dangerous things. If your kid feels afraid or unsure in any way, tell him to get in touch with a teacher or an adult he knows, like a parent or a counselor.
- Boost the confidence of your child.
Kids usually succumb to peer pressure when they face neglect and criticism at home. Bonding with your kid and communicating with him regularly will help him fight off any negative influence.Peer pressure kids often have a negative view of life.
Did your kid face peer pressure? How did you help him overcome it? Do share your experience and tips here.
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