Every day, teenagers are shaped by their peers’ behavior. To put it another way, your adolescent is being shaped by the influences of their friends at all times. Even if they don’t realize it, spending time together teaches them valuable lessons they might not have learned otherwise.
There are occasions when peer pressure can be beneficial in the form of encouraging one another to attempt new things or constructively challenge oneself. Peer pressure can be harmful when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse and even bullying.
Peer Pressure Is the First Step in Bullying
It is a sort of bullying in which a group or clique’s members pressure one another to conform to the group’s norms and values. Cliques of kids might put pressure on one another to engage in bullying behavior.
Bullying happens in many forms, ranging from the simple act of writing hurtful notes or calling someone names to the more complex act of spreading rumors and gossip about another person. In reality, peer pressure is a major factor in many forms of relational aggression and cyberbullying.
Teens and tweens, on the other hand, may feel compelled to emulate the behavior of their older counterparts. Because they believe their peers are doing it, some children engage in sexting. Youngsters are influenced by their peers to do things they wouldn’t normally do in order to be accepted or gain attention.
The pack mentality is especially prevalent online when it comes to bullying and puts pressure on people to bully others. In many cases, children will urge or press others to engage in cyberbullying. Online hate lists and cruel social media posts are just two examples of this.
The Reasons Behind Children’s Submission to Peer Pressure
In most cases, children succumb to peer pressure in order to be liked or accepted by their peers. They are afraid that other kids would make fun of them if they don’t fit in with the group or clique. In the end, bullying can be a self-defense mechanism.
As a result, kids are concerned they will be bullied if they don’t participate in rumors and gossip, disseminate false stories, or mock others.
Another problem is that when bullying is done in a group, some adolescents believe that it is less of a crime because “everyone is doing it.” It’s not uncommon for kids to abandon their better judgment and common sense when they’re in a group like this. As a result, individuals don’t feel nearly as bad about their actions as they otherwise would have.
Children’s Peer Pressure: Help Them Manage It
It’s not uncommon for parents to feel like they’re fighting a lost battle against the influence of their kids’ peers. Parents, on the other hand, wield far more power than people know. Teens and tweens may be seeking to show their independence, but they still rely on their parents for support and guidance. Because of this, don’t miss the chance to get involved.
Engage in conversation with your children. Try to empathize with their situation. Do they feel compelled by their peers to engage in acts of relational assault or cyberbullying?
It’s easier to make a good impact on bullying if you can connect with your children on the subject. Ensure that your children are well-versed in dealing with pressure from their peers. In addition, make sure they have strong self-confidence, assertiveness, and social skills. These characteristics help children respond positively to the influence of their peers.
When it comes to bullying, set clear guidelines and hold people accountable for breaking them.
If you have a policy against bullying others and you discover that your child is bullying others, you must take disciplinary action, even if he was persuaded to do so. Don’t let your youngster think that the rules don’t apply or aren’t a big thing if you don’t enforce them.
There’s a risk that it will spiral into something more dangerous, such as an attack on another person’s health or even death. Don’t forget that ignoring your child’s pleas can only do more harm in the long run.
Recognize that despite your best efforts, your adolescent will make mistakes. Instead of yelling or scolding, encourage them to accept responsibility for their behavior. Have them apologize if they were nasty to someone else, for example.