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Kids Peer Pressure pangs

By  , Jagran Cityplus
May 19, 2010
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

Peers influence your life, whether you know it or not, just by being there around you - your class, in your school, in the same hobby class or tuition group - the most important criterion being that they belong to the same generation as you.

 

The power of peer group for positive change is a fantastic force, but if it makes you suffer, remember to stand on your ground and do what you know is right!

 

Peer pressure, much featured though it may be on the health checklist of children's well being, is one aspect that hounds them well into their adult life.  As long as it does not evoke an extreme personality trait on an individual or impacts the shaping of one's character, it is just that - peer pressure.  But more often than not, this force is existent in the everyday living which goes unnoticed, even as it is playing the major role of moulding the young minds and consequently, their adult psychologies and attitude.So, how do you deal with your child's peer pressure? Read on…

 

What is peer pressure?

 

When people your own age try to influence how you act, it is called 'peer pressure.'  Peers influence your life, whether you know it or not, just by being there around you - your class, in your school, in the same hobby class or tuition group - the most important criterion being that they belong to the same generation as you. You get influenced from them, and they from you. 

It is only human nature to listen to, admire and absorb from other people in one's own age group.  This urge becomes more intense in the adolescent years as children grow up and are out of the parental influence.  They identify more with the interests and ambitions of their peers and find parental interference out of line. 

Peer relationships are hinged to a large extent on an individual's social skills.  Lack of social skills and consequent failure to establish social ties with peers often causes social and emotional mal-adjustment, feelings of inferiority and lack of personal confidence follow.  Just to gain conformity with peers, the adolescent comes under tremendous pressure to gain "peer approval". "This desire of "acceptance" often leads to inappropriate behaviour or undesirable habits, values or attitudes depending on the kind of peers our adolescent has," says Dr. Jitendra Nagpal, Consultant Psychiatrist.  Thus, peers also serve as a sounding board for attitudes on sex, drugs and social behaviour.

Indeed, peers can have a positive influence on each other as well. Moral support, emotional study notes, inspiring healthy competition or the urge to excel in a sport or extracurricular activities are just some things that peers directly or indirectly naturally give and take.  The peer group is a kind of buffer and in case of a family stress may offer emotional support. It provides freedom to experiment with alternate value systems and identities and also helps discover a world that belongs to them and they identify with.

 

Walking away from peer pressure

 

It can be hard to walk away from peer pressure, but it can be done.  All it takes is staying conscious of the right versus wrong, self-confidence boosted all the time can help you stand firm and walk away when you must.

 

Choose your friends wisely

 

Having even one good friend standing by your side takes a lot of clout out of pushy peer pressure and makes it much easier to resist. It can be exhilarating and powerful for one peer to join another by simply saying, "I'm with you, let's go." So make friends with values similar to yours and they like you the way you are, not the way they want you to be.

 

Stay away from trouble-seekers

 

Avoid the group of kids who are always trying to get you to smoke cigarettes with them. Stay away - and they can't try to pressure or influence you.  Choose to hang out with other people who are doing things you enjoy at any given point of time, it you do not have a regular pal or group to stick together with.

 

Walking away from peer pressure

 

It can be hard to walk away from peer pressure, but it can be done.  All it takes is staying conscious of the right versus wrong, self-confidence boosted all the time can help you stand firm and walk away when you must.

 

Choose your friends wisely

 

Having even one good friend standing by your side takes a lot of clout out of pushy peer pressure and makes it much easier to resist. It can be exhilarating and powerful for one peer to join another by simply saying, "I'm with you, let's go." So make friends with values similar to yours and they like you the way you are, not the way they want you to be.

 

Stay away from trouble-seekers

 

Avoid the group of kids who are always trying to get you to smoke cigarettes with them. Stay away - and they can't try to pressure or influence you.  Choose to hang out with other people who are doing things you enjoy at any given point of time, it you do not have a regular pal or group to stick together with.

 

Schools blow the whistle

 

The magnanimity of the peer issue can be gauged by the initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) launching project Expressions - a school-based mission aiming at child and adolescent health.  The Delhi chapter constitutes 80 members schools in and around Delhi (Noida   Gurgaon) and VIMHANS is the Project Co-ordinator.

Under this project, these schools have taken the initiative to join "Life Skill" training at VIMHANS. Apart from the schools, chosen member from faculty or school counsellor undergoing this training, students identified as socially isolated are also trained in social skills and social competence. They encourage friendship with students who would reinforce their positive behaviour. 

 

– Courtesy: Wellbeing 

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