We've heard about it, experienced it, advised the children about it and yet, a majority of kids continue to struggle with it through years of schooling and perhaps even later. Peer pressure is inevitable since there always exists one 'cool group' at school - which basically includes a bunch of kids who do all the things that they are not supposed to do and make it seem like a 'cool' or 'happening' thing to do. Children, who are too sincere at studies, have often been at the receiving end of ridicule, and a lot of meaningless bashing by the bullies at school. Indulging in unsafe sexual practices, alcohol, drug abuse, eating disorders and smoking are some of the activities that are a part of the peer pressure phenomenon.
Often you find teenaged children indulging in unprotected sex with multiple partners just because they think everyone is doing it and hence it is 'cool'. The parameters of good and bad have been replaced by 'what's in' and 'what's out'. Peer pressure is nothing but the incessant desire of the children to be perceived as 'happening' and 'cool' in order to belong to a particular group. Often at schools and colleges the students are always forming groups, and there is a lot of group politics and bullying than you can ever imagine.
For parents who want to guide their children on dealing with peer pressure, the answer lies in simple and effective parenting. Always tell your child that he / she is a unique individual and does not have to emulate his / her peers to feel accepted by them. This is something that children deal from the early schooling years and can even continue facing the problem during adulthood. Although the severity of such pressure might not seem very grave in every situation, never take any sort of peer pressure lightly. No matter what form it comes in, this kind of influence erodes the individuality of the child and retards personal growth.
Peer pressure kills individuality and gives rise to a set of people who are merely...
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