My eldest daughter, Fathini is now has started to experience the peer pressure in her kindy. Sometimes when I pick up her up from the kindy, she'll tell me all of sorts of things that her friends have. She always asks me if I can also buy her the same branded stuffs. It's only quite recently that I realize PEER PRESSURE starts at a very young age like the pre-school years! I have to admit that I'm not fully ready to deal with this issue yet as I used to think that they will only have this issue when they turn to teenage years.
Before we look further, we have to check WHAT IS THE MEANING OF PEER PRESSURE?
(THIS EXCERPT IS TAKEN FROM WIKIPEDIA.COM)
Peer pressure refers to the influence exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms. Social groups affected include membership groups, when the individual is "formally" a member (for example, political party, trade union), or a social clique. A person affected by peer pressure may or may not want to belong to these groups. They may also recognize dissociative groups with which they would not wish to associate, and thus they behave adversely concerning that group's behaviors.
Peer pressure can affect any age group. Even when you are already an adult, you'll be facing pressures from your surroundings. We either conform or rebel against the norms. BUT........................................can we be in the middle?
Enough about me, let's go back to my eldest daughter, Fathini. You must be wondering what do I do or what do I say to her when she asks me if she can have the same toy, school equipments, clothes or anything like her friends. I'm not an expert but maybe I can share some of the things that I normally do.
HOW TO MANAGE AND REDUCE THE EFFECTS OF PEER PRESSURE AMONG YOUNG CHILDREN
- Talk to your child about what is important in life and tell him/her that having branded stuffs are not necessary. But once in a while, you can still buy some on your child's birthday or if he/she has excel in anything.
- Teach your child what to say when his/her friends are boasting about what they have done or what they have bought. For example, "That's nice but I still have a good school bag", "I like the colour and I'm happy you get what you want" or "Good for you".
- Teach your child to be confident about himself/herself so he/she doesn't feel inferior in front of his/her friends. Always use positive words to your child, praise and encourage him/her to be brave.
- Ask and teach your child to be selective when choosing best friends. It's okay to be nice to everybody but at the end, only true friends can be the shoulders to cry on.
Now, would you like to share your opinion too? How do you deal with your children when they have been influenced by peer pressure? Do you have your own examples of peer pressure cases?