Social pressure 101
It is so common to think that social pressure is a problem of puberty. That boys and girls are in constant danger because their friends pressure them to behave or make choices that may threaten their health, complicate them with the law, or harm them emotionally or physically. This is true. Peer pressure can lead teens to drug, alcohol, or irresponsible driving. However, peer pressure does not begin and ends in adolescence or under pressure to engage in dangerous activities. Peer pressure begins at a younger age and continues, admit, until the last moments of our lives.
As parents it is important to us that our children do not submit to social pressure. We all want children leaders and not those who go with the herd. But above all, what motivates us is our concern for our children and our desire that they go through the challenging years of adolescence as easily as possible and emerge from the whole story in life, without mental scars and without criminal records. Although our concern is valid, we must remember that social pressure is not limited to and not even to incitement to dangerous or illegal activities. Peer pressure can be expressed in very young ages and persuasion to play an unacceptable game, as well as to laugh, tease or ban another child.
Social pressure is no less evident in the adult world. Want samples? Hila, Gila and Tzila meet at a restaurant. Hila is on a diet but her friends urge her to taste the chips and other delicacies they ordered. Pleading and relentless. Come on, Hila, how many kisses are not really there. This is what tastes good, you must try. Did not you say you were hungry? Start your diet tomorrow. Okay, if you do not chips, let ‘s blow up with dessert. Hila is tempted and breaks the diet.The next day she feels bad about herself and promises that she will not succumb to social pressure … Ilan, too, who divorced his wife two months ago, was experiencing social pressure. Every time he meets with his male friends they throw no comments like, ‘Well, you were with someone?’ How much did you provide this week ?? Ilan feels that in order to meet the expectations of his friends or in order to be considered a man, he must do things that he is not yet emotionally ready for or that contradict his conscience. In a broader sense of the word we are all exposed to social pressure to meet certain standards. Live, buy, dress up, spend, live, show with, drive, drive to, be part of …. wow, really stressful !!!
Well then we realized that human beings being social animals are forced to cope with peer pressure from infancy to adulthood. But is peer pressure always a negative experience? Is there positive peer pressure? As many of you know, my questions are not usually conclusive. When we socialize with moral, ambitious and successful friends, we may be pressured to meet high standards, but this is a pressure we can define as positive because it spurs us to be better and better people. Social pressure, on the other hand, is usually negative when it comes to the pressure to engage in dangerous or illegal activities, to meet unreasonable economic standards or to behave in ways that contradict our values and beliefs.
Adolescence, the age at which our children’s social world takes center stage, is inevitably the time when our children tend to be exposed to greater amounts of peer pressure that can be divided into several categories.
1. Peer pressure to engage in dangerous or illegal activities such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drug use, hasty and dangerous driving, shoplifting or participating in dangerous games such as Russian roulette, choking or jumping from rooftops.
2. Peer pressure to meet social standards, which is often expressed in parents’ demands for the purchase of clothing or accessories of various kinds such as cell phones, video games, fashion brands and more.
3. Peer pressure to behave in a way that contradicts the values and laws of the child’s family but is not dangerous or violates the law formally. For example, direct or covert pressure to dress in a way that is inappropriate to the tradition or religion to which the child belongs or to eat things that do not conform to the accepted lifestyle (kosher, vegetarian). In addition, many adolescents sometimes feel pressure to break family laws such as late return from spending or pressure to lie to their parents about their whereabouts or staying under protection / author alibi. Such peer pressure also includes pressure to use computer and the Internet without the knowledge of the parents and contrary to their instructions and policies, escape from school and even social pressure for dating and even sexual experience.
So what do we do to help our children cope with the social pressure they are exposed to and to prevent them from the dangers inherent in submission to social pressures? How will you educate your adolescent children to be adult leaders with free thinking and self-confidence? First you need to understand the need to start prevention and education as early as possible and not wait for adolescence to give children tools for social coping. Second, parents should know that there is a direct connection between healthy self-confidence and strong social pressure. It must be understood that in psychological terms, a person’s self-confidence is the immune system of his soul.
Tips for Parents How to guide their children to cope with peer pressure
1. Help your children develop confidence and strong self-identity. Such children do not need to please others or to be reassured by the environment about their success. Help empower the child by exposing him to success and engaging in areas in which he is good and interested.
2. Do not worship popularity. Focus on social and health relationships. Parents who emphasize popularity as a goal and encourage their children to be accepted at any cost may inadvertently increase their children’s tendency to submit to peer pressure as a way of social acceptance.
3. Teach your children from a young age that it’s okay to say no !!! You do not have to do everything just because we are asked. Help the child define proper conformity and unhealthy conformity. When to go with the flow and when necessary and even obliged to oppose it.
4. Teach the child a cause and effect throughout his life so that he will develop skills to examine the consequences of his actions before he acts in this way or in a brother