Peer pressure can affect your child’s self-esteem and influence their decisions. It is important that you show your support and guide him so that he does not lose his autonomy.
Peer pressure is a reality that affects children and adolescents in your life. This influences your child’s aspects such as dressing, dealing with other people, etc. Peer pressure can lead to actions such as drinking alcohol, having risky or early sex, or using drugs. For this reason, it is one of the issues that worry parents today.
The human being is by nature a social being. This is the reason why, on many occasions, he pays attention to the opinions and criticisms of his environment, especially when he is in the stage of childhood and adolescence. In them, the parents’ education and guidance are crucial to overcoming everything.
All the education that you give your child at home is what will help him when he is in pressure situations. You make the first decisions in your life as a parent, so when you have to decide for yourself, it can be overwhelming and become a problem. Your duty is to guide him during the first years of life so that he makes the best decisions in the future.Read:Why children’s respect for their parents is important
What is peer pressure?
Peer pressure can be seen everywhere. However, it is more common to see it in schools and even universities. In these places, small social groups are formed, made up of adolescents of the same age with common interests. These groups themselves are not bad, but they do become a very strong influence on others.
In these different social pressure groups, there are one or more leaders. Normally, they are popular boys or girls who, in most cases, subdue others. To include someone in this type of clan, you need to go through several requirements and, above all, have the same tastes, ways of dressing, thinking, and even speaking.
These groups are made up of several people. However, actions are the product of a single decision. In this case, the leader. Similarly, everyone must meet certain requirements in order to belong. These include physical appearance, social status, and the different activities in which they develop.
Why is it important to help your child with peer pressure?
As a parent, you must keep in mind that the stage of teens is a difficult time. Your child is discovering who he is, his abilities, responsibilities, and his place in the world. Understanding him and helping him under any circumstance is important for communication and trust between mother and son or father and son to increase.Read:social isolation in teens: What to Do When your Kids don’t Leave Their Rooms
Peer pressure doesn’t necessarily have to be negative. However, you must tell the difference between good and bad and teach your child what his limits are. It is important that you attack any change in attitude that you notice in your child at the moment. In this way, you prevent the problem from getting worse.
You must make him understand that every action has consequences. You need to learn to say no when the situation warrants it and not feel guilty for refusing something. All the decisions you make should be because you want to and not because many people pressure you.
The role of parents in their children’s self-esteem
The role you play in developing your child’s self-esteem is critical. And this is evidenced by this work carried out by professionals from the University of Cuenca, Ecuador. When you accept their tastes or the activities they want to do, you are validating their decisions and, in turn, strengthening their personal security.
In this case, your child will feel capable of doing things on his own. Plus, you’ll feel valued and supported, which is a building block for your self-esteem.Read:Why children’s respect for their parents is important
One of the central elements in the construction of self-esteem is the feeling of belonging, which is opposed to the feeling of exclusion. The family is, without a doubt, the first and most important nucleus of belonging. It is also the only place where children receive unconditional love. A basic requirement for achieving high self-esteem in your child is that they feel accepted at home.
This stage is difficult for both your child and you, so you must have a lot of patience. Therefore, we will give you some tips that will help you know how to take peer pressure on your child and strengthen their self-esteem.
Socialization is a process that lasts a lifetime. It begins at the moment when the child first interacts with the people around him.
Most guys have no problem making friends. However, some find relationship obstacles because they are not socially skilled. The good news is that your child can learn to make friends with his entire family unit’s help.
Don’t bore your child with long talks about what to do to be a good friend or classmate. Show him, by example, the meaning of friendship. Teach him how he should behave in front of new colleagues.
For example, inviting your friends with children to your house and sharing a weekend afternoon is an option. Your child will observe how you get on with your friends, and you will notice how your child is when he interacts with new people his age. If you see any strange attitude, you can talk to him at night and make him realize his mistakes.
Encourage your child’s abilities
Children have short, medium, and long-term dreams and goals. It is common for them to say that, when they are older, they want to be a doctor or any other profession that they like. Support them, even if they are small. If he’s young and wants to be a surgeon, buy him a children’s doctor set to play with. Also, if he is a little older, you can enroll him in first aid courses.
Enrolling him in workshops that he likes will increase his intellectual development and increase his confidence. This will help in the decision-making process. Don’t limit their learning. If they ask on any subject, answer them as subtly and clearly as possible. In case you don’t have much information about their concerns, do your research and learn together.
Get to know the child’s friends and colleagues
When your child is young, you are the one who usually picks his friends for him. Most of the time, they are your friends’ children from childhood, college, or work. However, once your child starts spending more time at school than at home, he will be the one to say who his friends and classmates will be.
Communication plays a key role in this regard. Asking him who his friends are will help you recognize whether he has made a good decision. You can organize an outing with all your friends. In this way, you can see how they get along and what things they like to do together.
Consequences of peer pressure for your child
Generally, when children and adolescents act together, they are more daring. Above all, if it is about actions that can bring some important consequence. These groups very often plan adventures or activities to “break the norm.” For example, skipping class or going somewhere without permission.
They are careless and straightforward facts, but once they start to be pressured, it does more serious things. For example, smoking cigarettes, committing petty theft, lying to parents, or being cruel to other children.
The members of these groups are not friends with your child. They just manipulate and subdue it, and these are not the characteristics of a friendship. In that sense, you must make your child understand that they can put their physical and moral integrity at risk. In addition, emphasize that these actions have serious consequences that he will have to face in case he gets carried away by social pressure, as this study published in the Eureka magazine points out.
Ultimately, peer pressure under negative influence threatens your child’s individuality and right to decide. Therefore, you must be aware of any changes in their behavior. You are their example. If you make good decisions, chances are he will too.
Choosing what to wear is not the same as having your child feel pressured to dress in a particular way. They develop their autonomy and reinforce their self-esteem every day.1
- Bueno, M., Calderón, N., & Choco, S. Role of parents in building children’s self-esteem. https://repositorioslatinoamericanos.uchile.cl/handle/2250/1124033
- Fuentes, MC, García, F., Gracia, E., & Alarcón, A. (2015). Parental styles of socialization and psychological adjustment. A study with Spanish adolescents. Journal of Psychodidactics , 20 (1), 117-138. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/175/17532968007.pdf
- Vera, NCD, Aguilera, M., Batura, R., Campos, F., Canese, M., González, A., … & Triderman, P. (2012). Peer pressure and alcohol consumption in students of the private university entrance examination course. Eureka (Asunción) Online , 9 (2), 196-216. http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2220-90262012000200007