Peer group has the most profound influence on a child’s life. The child’s opinions, beliefs and attitude are shaped according to his/her friends. Under their pressure, the child may lose the power to think independently and tend to go astray. As parents, give your children the strength of mind so that they live life in their own right and not according to their friends.
Be a friend to your child
The first step is to maintain trust and open communication with your children so that they can talk to you about everything and anything without any fear. This way you would know the good and the bad influences in your child’s life. Also be flexible with them.
Guide him constantly
In growing age, children under peer pressure may think wearing certain clothes, taking risks, breaking rules is the way to command respect from people. Share experiences from your and the life of others with your children so that they understand what it takes to become great.
Don’t control your child
One of the most important kinds of peer pressure is being teased for being “mama’s or papa’s boy.” Don’t issue instructions, act over protective or tell your children not to do something because they are incapable of it. Let them feel that they are in control of their life and are just seeking your guidance.
Boost his self-esteem
Be a source of encouragement for your child where you keep appreciating and identifying your child’s qualities. Express your faith in them rather than doubt their every move. This way they’ll not depend solely on their friends for love and acceptance.
Give him decision-making power
Infuse so much self-confidence in your child that others do not influence them. Let them decide what is wrong and what is right for them. Guide but never impose your decisions and allow your child to learn from his mistakes.
This article appeared in Hindustan Times