The desire and passion to fit in and be accepted by a certain group is normal. Most people feel the need to belong to a group especially at their teen or youthful life. Peer pressure is associated with a feeling to fit in, be respected and accepted by members of that group. Pressure from friends and folks around us may be hard to handle.
Peers play a significant role in the socioeconomic development of a child. The influence begins at an early stage in life and continues to be more pronounced through the teenage years. It is nature for children to rely on their friends to learn more about life, but this habit need to be closed monitored with right guidance.
Peers can be supportive and useful. They can help one another in developing new ideas and skills, stimulate interest in music, art, books, and other positive related fields. On the contrary, they can be a negative influence by inspiring each other to try bad habits.
Coping With Peer Influences
People at young age often accept to be exploited by their peers because they want to be accepted in that peer group. They want to be respected, accepted and liked, and do not necessarily care about the consequences associated with being a member of a group.
Having discussed the basics, here are few ways to help kids and the youth deal with peer pressure.
1. Humor is a good strategy
You can use humor to get someone out of a group. Some people are really good at deflecting attention from themselves or even their actions by the use of humor. Use your wit to take pressure off the current situation your kid may be in, without offending them.
Avoidance can be the best solution in situations where you are under pressure to make certain decisions. Allow yourself to avoid situations or people that are not right for you. Make efforts to avoid situations that you are uncomfortable in. Work on setting boundaries and never be influenced by things that are not in relation to what you stand for.
3. Recognize unhealthy dynamics
It is not good for others to pressure, force or trick you to do things that you are not in agreement with at the first go. It may be okay for others to scorn, belittle, mock or threaten you. Accept their threats and intelligently walk away, if the situation they are forcing you into does not relate to your principles.
4. Be Positive
A good way to avoid peer influences is living a positive life. Do not let yourself to be in a situation of vulnerability. If your life is filled with negativity, you might be susceptible to exploitation of whatever manner. Spend time with those groups that respect your decisions and those who would not pile unnecessary pressure to you.
5. Try Delay Tactic
Remember, you can’t be a flower-girl or please everyone and that you need to be yourself. This fact can be hard to accept, but it can help you in the longer run. When situations and people put a lot of pressure on you, try avoidance or the delay tactic. When you can no longer delay or avoid situations, politely decline and be firm with your stand.
6. Avoid Bad Company
You have probably heard the saying – birds of the same feather flock together. When it comes to peer pressure, the same applies. This simple saying means that people of the same type hang out together. Basically, you need to choose your friend wisely. If you have friends that are happy and confident with what you have, then that is the right group for you. These type of friends will less likely try to push or force you to do things that are in line with your taste.
7. Think of Consequences
For every action taken, there is an equal and opposite reaction – and this is the basic act of accountability. Every action you do has a consequence. You might think you can brush off a consequence, but the results can be harmful and devastating. Before you commit to an action, think consciously about the repercussions. If the consequences are not pleasing, avoid such situations like plaque. There is always a consequence and sometimes, the effects may be more grave on you, than on your peers.