News Karnataka
Tuesday, September 27 2022
Know Your Child

Peer pressure in children and how to converse with them

Peer pressure in children
Photo Credit : Pexels

It is common that when children get older, they tend to spend more time with their friends and become less interactive with their parents. They also feel comfortable sharing their views, thoughts and feelings with friends as their understanding level matches with each other and also, they like to fit into the group called peer group. This phase is normal, though there are some facts which lead both parents and children in dilemma. The sudden change and rebellious nature will leave their parents in wonder as to how to deal with them and also in extreme cases both get into physical fights, emotional detachment and suicidal threats.

Peer pressure starts at any age as long as the child is being manipulated by someone. It is not always true that peer pressure is negative. It can be positive also, which helps children to reach or focus on their goals, attend classes every day or to score good marks in the examination. Negative peer pressure can lead to experimenting with things like smoking, drugs/alcohol abuse or gang fights.

A child who is badly affected by peer pressure can show some signs or symptoms that are damaging to their self-confidence. It can also affect their academic performance. As children involve themselves more in the peer group, the focus on studies and other co-curricular activities may deteriorate and there would be lots of behavioural changes such as easily getting angry, triggered by trivial matters, moody, responding in a negative or rude way to elders and sleeplessness. They tend to keep themselves away from family events.

It is obvious that these changes check the patience level of any parent, so hereafter when parents enter their personal space the problem gets worst. Every parent wishes to keep their children safe away from these negative influences but when they frequently question children’s/teens activities, they feel like they are not old enough to choose the life they want, at times irritated for still being treated like a child.

The hormonal and pubertal changes also play a vital role in their behavioural changes. So, how can one talk about the issues when they are undergoing peer pressure?

Have a friendly talk

It is easy for any parent to sort out the issues when children themselves are aware of it, in such cases you can guide them in the right direction and help them. But few children deny the fact that they need help and resist themselves getting suggestions during these situations. In such cases having friendly talk will help you. Talking to their good friends also can be tried to bring a positive atmosphere.

Do not touch their personal space

You need to understand the fact that your child is in the process of getting into adulthood, so constantly spying about their activities, and checking their phones or computers would not be good for both of your relationships. Instead provide them with enough freedom by saying that you trust them and that you are concerned about their safety and well-being, not about their space. Respect their choice and treat them in a good way though it is a hard process.

Peer pressure is mainly taking place when children want to do something because they want to feel accepted and valued by their friends. As a parent try to involve yourself with family-friendly activities, let your young teen spend quality time with family and also involve their friends too, so that you are their constant supporters.

Image by Polesie Toys

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Ramya E.

The author is a counselor and lifeskills trainer who has trained over 2000 students. She holds an M.Sc. in Psychology.

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