Many parents think and feel that our kids are taking peer pressure and they feel peer pressure is too bad for kids, let’s discuss in few scenarios why peer pressure is bad or good ? how can we tackle the peer pressure with kids and even for adults.
What is peer pressure?
It is just influence from members of one’s peer group or neighbors, relatives and friends. Based on research, Peer pressure occurs when we are schooling, studying, career growth and business. Based on Asch conformity experiments, study done on groups of children given two cards, having group of different size animal in the left hand side and lone animal with same size animal on the right side. In the experiment, the last student who was given occasionally a different book with different size of animal on right side, when the previous children were already knows the answer and they are part of the research and they are associates of the experimenter but the last child doesn’t know at that time but others are actually associates of the experimenter. Experimenter asks all children, one at time to choose the size of lone animal and task is repeated several times with different cards, sometimes, the children who answered before the last student was incorrect and finally the same question asked with the last child, and the last child’s response was often the same as previous child response with wrong answer even though his/her lone animal size is different but when all child’s given the same answer, the last child picks the same answer and gave the peer group answers even though she saw and touched the lone animal, however when they did the research privately with each child, the children proved much more consistent and gave correct answer and they didn’t fall in the physical presence of their peer’s opinion. As a parent, we do similar things like copying from peers and apply with our kids and even with us.
Ok, let’s take another scenario: Ok group of cool teen kids in the school are cutting class test, and says to other kids who wants to come out and go for some party? What you do? Will you go to the class and take test or do you want to go with other kids and hang somewhere? These type of challenges arise when the kids grow older and it is very hard to take a decision. Making a right decision or making a hard decision is always a challenge, when your peers pressurize you then it is even more harder to make the decision and fall on the group decision. One kid may follow their peers and based on the peers choice they pick the sports like tennis or soccer because they want to hang out with them or sometimes even they choose to try some bad habits like smoking or drinking or even hide things with their parents.
Is Peer Pressure a Positive & Powerful?
Peer pressure is not always wrong or bad thing: Let’s take another situation how peer pressure can also do some positive approach: Peers also influence your life, When you keep spending time with your peers, sometimes they even influence some good habits and you will start learning from them. It is human mindset to listen and learn from other people’s experience and habits like doing the homework on time, attend class regularly, work in a group research and achieve the results in a group. Peers can quickly teach easy steps for solving math problems, Peers can help together in science research and even show some tricks in the sports or Peer kids can also teach other kids to play a game with a team spirit.
So Peer pressure is not always bad: Sometimes kids want to join with them and wants to do better thing or try something new because other kids are doing something better and influencing other kids to push them to their next levels. It is difficult to say “no” to peer pressure always but kids should learn and pay attention to their own beliefs, feeling, kids should know the difference between right or wrong. Kids should have inner-strength and self-confidence to stand firm, walk away from negative people, right peer group know how to avoid bullies and they work together to help other kids to act better. Building the peer group is very important and that changes our kids life and path directly or indirectly, having right peer group can help and back up when they are struggling or when kids need them badly.
Most of the times, all these things weren’t taught in school and parents have very limited time to educate these important factors to the kids. As a parent, we educate our kids consistently but kids may not hear from their own parents but when they sit together with another guru/teacher they have enormous capability to learn and listen the things. Empower the kids program focus on the missing gray areas where kids missed to learn the important things like this from school or from home. OUR GOAL IS TO “EMPOWER THE KIDS TO THEIR MAXIMUM ABILITY”
Anbe Sivam (Love is God)