An essential aspect of good parenting is that you recognize your child’s changing and emerging growth and development. Remember that growth and development not only consists of physical changes that take place from infancy to adolescence, but changes in emotions, personality, behavior, thinking, and speech as well. As a child grows older he or she starts becoming more independent from the family and interest in friends increases. As the friends and peers have a significant effect on your child’s self esteem, confidence and development of socio-emotional skill help your child to be accepted by peers.
Although healthy friendships nourish your child’s development, peer pressure can be a strong influence. Children who feel confident and secure can handle negative peer pressure better. With their increasing independence make your child develop a sense of responsibility. Some suggestions that can help your child become independent, self confident and develop a sense of responsibility are:
Have time for your child: Regularly spend time with your child, talk about his or her friends, school, accomplishments, problems, and the challenges.
Be involved in their school: Take interest in their school work, share information about what's happening at school, attend parent teacher’s meeting, school functions and take part in school activities when you can. Let your child to do school work themselves and do not try to help them out with their work by doing it for them.
Encourage activities: Encourage your child to join activities like team sport, swimming, hiking, volunteer work in your society, at their school. You should take part in their activities when you can. Make a reasonable, consistent schedule for learning activities, school work, helping at home daily. Assign responsibility, help and teach them to break a big job into small parts and then do it one step at a time. This will help not only in school work, homework assignment but also for other things like getting dressed, or doing a job at home.
Limit TV: Set limits on your child’s TV viewing as children who watch too much TV have been shown to perform poorly as compared to children with limited TV viewing.
Praise them for achievements: Let your child know you appreciate their achievements. Praise your child when they've done something well, your child should feel that you have confidence in them, take interest in their work, and criticize or give your suggestions in a way that is helpful.
Guide your child: You can help your child to deal with peer pressure and other negative influence by making them become confident, by accepting them as they are, and guiding them regarding the right and wrong choices. Develop a healthy relation with your child so that he or she feels free to talk to you regarding his/her feelings, problems, and achievements. Encourage self-discipline, respect for authority, teachers, and elders.