Growing up as a teenager in the 21st century holds a unique set of perks and drawbacks. Highly exposed to technology and social media, children and young students are getting fonder of socialization. Preferring friends of the same age group for any kind of solutions, suggestions, and advice, the current generation is finding more comfort in peers rather than family members. Coming from different cultural backgrounds, the friend circle of today’s kid is comprised of children with distinctive preferences in food, clothing, and lifestyles. Feeling an urge to re-modify their likings and disliking to fit-in the friend’s circle or to match as per other’s expectations can be termed as peer pressure. At a young stage, it is not quite a common factor to feel intimidated due to peer pressure. However, there are always two sides to a coin. While peer pressure may provoke and mislead young minds to do unnecessary things, that sometimes might create unavoidable circumstances, Peer influence acts as a guidance and a sustainable factor in the lives of the students. Peer pressure might persuade the students to skip classes, smoke cigarettes, and consume alcohol, whereas peer influence might encourage them to study harder and achieve good grades.
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To differentiate between peer pressure and peer influence, and to act accordingly, the below-mentioned points can be of some assistance.
Interaction with Parents and Teachers: Elders play a vital role in a student’s life by guiding and encouraging them constantly. Interacting with teenagers in a friendly manner will prompt them to reveal themselves. If they are facing any problems or urge to adopt certain lifestyle changes that might be a disadvantage for them, the guidance of elders will certainly help them distinguish between good and bad.
Choose the Friend Circle wisely: Our friends are like a separate family whom we can trust and rely upon. As the children spend maximum time with friends, their habits and choices are bound to reflect upon each other. Keeping a small but good company will help the students to develop academically as well as psychologically. True friends will influence positively by helping each other to pick all the right habits.
Be Confident: A confident mind is hard to be persuaded. By knowing the difference between good and bad factors that can affect the students, in the long run. So it is necessary to boost confidence to always choose the right thing. Confidence upon oneself helps the students to distinguish between peer pressure and peer influence.
Learn How to Say No: It is hard to say ‘No’ when somebody insists but it is not impossible. Knowing the limits up to which the students can explore their independence, they must say no to things like smoking, alcohol, and skipping classes. These options might appear lucrative initially but it is for the benefit of the students and their academic careers.
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Set your Goal: Once a student sets a goal, he/she works tirelessly to achieve it. It can be anything like securing ranks in the class, boost up academic performances, nurture a hobby or to get into the college of their choices. Once the goal is set, a student can easily distinguish the factors that are blocking his/her path in achieving it.
Friends and peers play an important role in the life of a child by helping them to learn and grow. Posing as a strict parent and interfering in their decisions may hinder their development into a strong-minded and capable individual. What they need is guidance and support while choosing their own path and advancing at their own pace to reach their respective goals.
Courtesy: Higher Education Review
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