Help your Child Deal with Peer Pressure - A Two Edged Sword
By Andrew Loh
“Peer pressure refers to the influence
exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her
attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms.” - Wikipedia
Peer pressure, It is one of the most talked about terminology in the
world today. Peer pressure is a sort of negative force in most of the
cases, unless someone resists it with his or her will power. Peer
pressure has negative connotations to it. It could be extremely pulling
or it can act as a magnetic force to prevent one from doing something
positive or negative. Peer pressure could be detrimental to your child,
if he or she does not know how to handle it in a proper manner.
Just consider this example. There is a group of children
in a classroom. One of them considers himself to be very superior and
cool when compared to others. He is a sort of overpowering child with a
tendency to dominate over others. One day, he says to other children,
“Come here! Let us bunk math class and play football instead”
In other words, he is putting a sort of indirect and invisible pressure on other
children to bunk the class and play football. In another
example, a child may face inordinate pressure to perform well both in
studies and sports. When all other children are doing well in their
studies, a child who is average in it, may feel too much pressure to
perform well and show good performance.
Peer pressure comes in many forms. In many cases, it can exert mental pressure on your
children. As they grow older, they will start facing many challenging
situations and scenarios. When there is peer pressure, your children may
find it very confusing to make a particular decision. When other
children start putting pressure in a way or the other, making a good
decision becomes still harder.
There are two terms within the terminology - peer pressure. You can break that word
into two separate ones - peer and pressure. Children, who are under your children's age
group, form the peer group. When they try to influence or exert pressure on
your children to do something or perform a particular act, then it is
known as peer pressure. Peer pressure is common to people from all age
groups. Even adults face this piquant phenomenon. Peer pressure can test
the decision making power of a person. It can even test the endurance or
will power of a person. Peer pressure in a positive form could be an
excellent tool for enhanced academic performance. On the contrary, it
could be a detrimental phenomenon, when children take it in a negative
connotation. Whatever the case, peer pressure is a psychological phenomenon
that everyone in this world will face almost on a daily basis.
There are many reasons why children fall prey to peer-pressure. In many
cases, children become preys to this phenomenon because they want others
to like them or they want to fit in a particular group or they may want
to avoid facing embarrassment in front of others. In many cases, it is
a compelling situation when children may to do something what
others are already doing. Walking away from this psychological phenomenon is
rather difficult. If used well, it could be very beneficial to your
children. For example, a peer pressure situation that demands your
children to perform well in the classroom will elicit better academic achievements.
In a typical classroom, there are different types of peer pressure:
Positive peer pressure: This type of pressure is good for your children, because
it can motivate or catalyze your children to perform better in the classroom.
Negative peer pressure: This is a bad pressure for your children, because it may
lead to a situation, when your children start learning some bad habits
or do something that is undesirable and bad.
Invisible peer pressure: Here, some of the children may not readily fall prey to
negative peer pressure. However, they will start comparing different
situations that occur in the school with their own assessment and later
confirm themselves to any of the two categories.
Peer pressure in a classroom is a very common occurrence that your children will never be
able to avoid nor shrug it off so easily. However, parents may need to train their children
to know how they can avoid falling prey to negative peer pressure. Continue to read
Help your Child Deal with Peer Pressure - Avoid Falling Prey to It