Peer pressure has been a concerning topic in our childrens growth and development. It is an affecting factor in a child's succesful development, including his or her learning and life. Both parents and teachers take peer pressure as a serious issue; moreover, peer pressure does not merely leave temporary effect on children, but also a permanent effect on their mental health. This phenomenon has encouraged parents and teachers to take preventive action so children would not be disadvantaged by peer pressure. Well thought of careful actions can help our children in coping with peer pressure unsuitable or inconsequential actions lead to negative impact on children.
Peer pressure is a case when there are influences, both positive and negative, from friends or peers that make children decide for or against something or someone. Children are vulnerable to peer pressure as they are still learning about righ and wrong do not know how to cope with situations properly. In this phase, some children may know how to seek help to solve the problems. While others may keep problems themselves and not know how to react. Parents and teachers are good sources of encouragement and guidance for them in facing the situation as children see them as strong adults.Providing them with correct and positive solutions followed by continuing attention is crucial. Below are several ways that can be helpful for our children.
1. Encourage your child to share stories
Sharing stories is not only beneficial for children’s cognitive growth but also help us to understand how children feel to know the situations they are in. Knowing their stories gives us information about our children development. It also helps children express their emotions and thoughts that gives us relief and make them believe that they are loved.
2. Gives positive responses
Positive responses to childrens problems can be shown by expressing empathy, listening attentively, understanding from their perspectives and giving encouraging or motivating solutions. Giving positive responses also make the children feel valued and trusted as a results they gain more strength to face peer pressure.
3. Discuss how to react or respond
Putting ourselves into our children’s shoes will enable us to decide how our children should react to the situation. Instead of being the one who decides, we discuss with them the possible solutions to overcome the situation.
4.Train them to think about it first before act
Our children stand by themselves, without our direct supervision, when they play with their friends or are at school. Teaching them to be considerate, to thinking about the situation first before deciding what to do, will help them to evaluate a situation and choose the correct and safe action.
5.Talk about dangerous behavior
We need to make sure our kids are safe. We cannot be with our children all the time and many things can happen that we have no control over. Thus, we need to explain about safe and dangerous situations that may happen. We need to tell them what they should do and how to react when the situations are not safe anymore. Indeed, we also instruct our child on how to behave properly and safely.
6.Choose right friends
We can teach our child how to behave toward others, but we cannot fully control their environment and friends. We need to teach them how to choose the correct friends; Those that make them feel comfortable and safe, and those that will do the right things.
Overall actions to help your child with peer pressure, caring and loving actions to words them will make them feel loved and secure. When children feel secure, their confidence and positive behavior develop. This is also helpful for students with mental health issues. As we want our children to grow into positive and healthy individuals, we should model it and provide positive and supporting atmosphere.