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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


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