How to Help Your Children Face Peer Pressure
Peer pressure can affect children's self-esteem and influence their decisions. It's important for you to show your support and help your children not lose their independence and autonomy.
Peer pressure is a reality that affects children and adolescents in their lives. It influences various aspects of their lives, such as what they wear, and how they deal with or avoid other people. Peer pressure can make children do things, like drink alcohol, have sex or do drugs. Therefore, it’s one of the issues that many parents worry about today.
Humans are social beings by nature.Therefore, many people pay attention to other people’s opinions and criticism. This is especially true during childhood and adolescence. During these times, it’s crucial for parents to teach and guide and help children face social obstacles.
Everything you teach your children at home is what will help them when they face peer pressure. After all, the first decisions in your life are made for you by your parents. Therefore, when you have to first decide things on your own, it can be overwhelming.
Therefore, your job as a parent is to help guide your children in their first few years so they can make good choices on their own.
What Is Peer Pressure?
You can see peer pressure everywhere. However, it’s much more common to see it in schools and even universities. In these places, kids and teens fall into small social groups made up of people that are the same age who have common interests. These groups in themselves aren’t bad, but they can influence others very strongly.
In these different social groups, there is usually one or a few leaders. Normally, they’re “popular” boys or girls who, in most cases, others submit to. To get into this kind of social group, you normally need to go through several requirements. In addition, you need to have the same tastes, dress similarly, think similarly, and even speak the same way.
These groups are usually made up of several people. However, there’s usually one person who makes the decisions. In this case, this is the leader. Then, everyone must meet certain requirements to belong. These may include physical appearance, social status, and the different activities they do.
Read this article: How to Find and Make True Friends
Why Is It Important to Help My Children with Peer Pressure?
As a father or a mother, you should keep in mind that adolescence is a very difficult time. At this time, your children are discovering who they are, their responsibilities, their abilities, and their places in the world. Listening to them, understanding them, and helping them is a great way to build trust with your children.
Peer pressure isn’t always negative. However, you need to teach your children the difference between right and wrong, as well as what their limits are. It’s important for you to notice any changes in your children’s attitude. Therefore, you can prevent the problem from getting worse.
Additionally, make sure that your children understand that every action has consequences. They need to learn to say “No” when necessary, and to not feel guilty for refusing to do something. Therefore, they need to know to make their decisions because of what they want, not because of peer pressure.
Parents’ Role in Their Children’s Self-Esteem
You play a crucial role in your children’s development of self-esteem. When you unconditionally accept their tastes and activities that they love, you’re validating their decisions. Therefore, you’re helping them feel confident in themselves. Through this, your children will be able to feel like they can do things on their own. In addition, they’ll feel valued and supported, which is a basic pillar for self-esteem.
One of the main components of self-esteem is feeling like you belong. Family is, without a doubt, the first and most important nucleus to feel like you belong. In addition, it’s the place where children should receive unconditional love. A basic requirement to having high self-esteem is to feel accepted at home.
This stage is difficult for both you and your children, so you must have a lot of patience. We’ll give you some tips to help you know how to face peer pressure, as well as how to strengthen your children’s self-esteem.
Teach Them to Socialize
Socialization is a process that lasts a lifetime. It starts the moment children relate to others around them for the first time. In fact, most children don’t have problems making friends.
However, some have trouble making friends because they don’t have good social skills. The good news is that children can learn to make friends with the help of their whole family.
Don’t bore your children with long talks about what they should do to be a good friend or classmate. Instead, show them what friendship means by being a role model. Therefore, teach them how they should behave with new people.
For example, you could invite your friends with children to come over and spend an afternoon together. Your children will then watch how you get along with your friends.
In addition, you can watch your children play with people their own age. If you see some strange attitude, you can take with them at night to help them work through their insecurities.
Encourage Your Children’s Abilities
Children tend to have dreams and goals for the short, medium and long term. Lots of kids may say that they want to be sports stars or lawyers when they’re older, or any other profession they like. Support them, even if they’re little. If your child wants to be a surgeon, buy her a doctor set to play hospital. If she’s a little older, you can enroll her in a first aid course.
Enrolling them in courses they like will increase your children’s intellectual development and boost their confidence. In fact, this will help them with their decision-making process. Don’t limit their learning. If they ask about any topic, answer it as honestly and clearly as possible. If you don’t know much about it, you can research and learn about it together.
Meet Your Children’s Friends and Classmates
When your children are little, normally it’s up to you to help them make friends. Most times, they’re your friends’ children. However, once your children start spending more time at school than at home, they will decide who their friends will be.
Here, communication plays a fundamental role. Asking who their friends are will help you recognize if they made a good decision. You can organize an activity with all of their friends. This way, you can see how they all get along and what they like to do together.
Consequences of Peer Pressure for Your Children
In general, when children and teens are together, they’re more daring. This is especially true regarding actions that have more consequences. It’s common for these groups to plan adventures or activities to break the rules. For example, some skip class or go somewhere without permission.
It might seem small at first, but once peer pressure starts, teens start to do more serious things. For example, they might start smoking cigarettes, committing petty thefts, lying to their parents or bullying other kids.
The members of these groups are not good friends for your children. They only manipulate and subdue them, and these are not characteristics of friendship. Therefore, help your children understand that these people don’t make very good friends. Also, remind him that these actions have serious consequences that will only get worse if he gives in to peer pressure.
Negative peer pressure threatens your children’s individuality and their right to make their own decisions. Therefore, you should be aware of any changes in their behavior. After all, you are their role model. If you make good decisions, they’re more likely to make good choices, too.
It’s good for your children to choose what they want to wear and not feel pressured to dress in a certain way. It develops their sense of autonomy and reinforces their self-esteem.