Among the causes cited by kids to start smoking, peer pressure has been the most common one. More and more kids are engaging in smoking, especially teenagers. Smoking for teenagers is license to belong to a particular social circle. Fighting peer pressure is a major hurdle for teens; most of whom fail to deal with the pressure, thereby surrendering to the calls of indulgence in inappropriate activities.
No matter who you are or where you come from, everyone has experienced peer pressure. When it comes to smoking in teen age, almost all adolescents look up to their friends or people they admire. Researches have shown a clear link between the influence of mates to try smoking and determining how cigarettes should be tried first.
Why should only smoking be looked at, teens are subjected to peer pressure every day be it in terms of clothing, music, tech-toys, drugs or sex. The depth of influence of peer pressure varies from person to person and their social circles. The increasing number of teen-age smokers is a result of pressure that teens face when compelled by their mates to do something to be accepted in a certain social group.
Unfortunately, most individuals fall prey to peer pressure and start smoking to appease their friends and get accepted as an equivalent or to eliminate the chances of being bullied.
During adolescence, kids have a strong influence of peers and face an urgency to get their approval, but research says that parents are still the strongest influence on their teen children. Parents are the support system of a child and can help them perceive the world around just as it is. Here are some ways in which parents can help their children cope with the peer pressure to smoke.
Make an Impact on your Child’s thinking— you are the best guide for your struggling child. Ask him to make a distinction between things he approves and disapproves. Let him examine his options, friends and his priorities. This will help him become a mature and independent thinker. Inform him the drawbacks of indulging in smoking and other deleterious habits. Also, know your child’s friends.
Set boundaries, but be approachable— make your rules clear to your child. Tell him what you disapprove of, such as smoking, drug addiction and drinking. You may set the boundaries such that your child holds back whenever he is about to cross it, but you shouldn’t be so dictating in your gestures and scare your child away. This will inbred fear in your child and he may not approach you if he faces peer pressure to smoke or drink. Also, let him know the consequences of breaking the limits.
Hope that the parents will realise how they can keep a check on their kid’s friend circle to prevent them from submitting themselves to peer pressure and cooperate with their child to make his life better.
You may also like: Can Video Games make your Child Violent?
Read more articles on Parenting.