The peer pressure

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Jul 2018 12:27:46


By dr aparna khator,

Peer pressure is something that affects us all, as you grow older, you have to make tough decisions.
Taking a decision is hard but when you feel the pressure from others it becomes harder. School children, teen-agers and even adults at times face it.
Even if you do not realise peers influence your life, there is a mutual learning, the effects of it are both positive and negative.

When positive pressure teaches you or helps you develop a new skill or compete in a healthy way it's good.
But when things behave the other way round negative pressure start affecting you. Cheat in a game, cut the class B mean to the new kid around or kid in the neighborhood might want you to smoke or booze for the very first time. Some kid find the new game or an experience exciting and wants to personally experiment it, this is where the trap lies. Peer pressure compels you to try out unwanted things.
Everyone wants to be popular, but this can often lead to the wrong path of drugs, alcohol abuse which is a serious problem with young people.

It all starts with experimenting and slowly you realise that it has hooked you deep down. Age is not a barrier, it can start even before your pre-teen days.
As children enter their teens, they have to deal with discovering their self identity, asserting independence, coping with authority, clarifying their sexual roles.
Teenage is the most crucial period for parents of young girls. They dress in a way which many times may distress their parents, it may just be for acceptance of their peers, not necessarily to be physically attractive.

The battle on dressing starts at adolescents with parents favouring modesty and girls more attractive dress.
We also have to acknowledge that these young people often succumb to being ostracised by their peers. We have to educate them on the risks of inappropriate clothing.
Coping well with peer influence is about getting the balance right between being yourself and fitting in with your group.
Children with strong self-esteem are better at resisting peer pressure, self esteem helps establishing good relationship and positive friendship helps in raising self-esteem.
Here are some ideas to help the young ones in managing peer pressure Keep the communication lines open, stay connected Encourage a wide social network Building your child's self esteemTeach them to say 'NO'

Take charge, access the situation, make a good choice Understanding your own values and beliefs Boost self-confidence Choose your friends wisely Talk to a trusted adult Don't make excuse- say exactly how you feel.

(The author is a counselor)