One thing we dread as parents is, when we realize that the child who was under our command and supervision is slipping away under the influence of his or her friends. A totally uncontrollable and helpless situation it seems at hand!
As Muslims, peer pressure becomes more of a problem, when our moral values clash with the behavior and actions of those kids who live around us, and interact with our kids.
Some things we must know about peer pressure:
What is peer pressure?
This is a social force exerted by a group or a powerful/admired individual upon kids. So much so, that they feel compelled to adopt all those habits which will make them acceptable as part of that group or culture.
Why does Peer Pressure make normally good kids do inappropriate things?
Kids have the natural need to feel a sense of belonging and want to feel as being accepted. As soon as they find someone giving them this secure feeling, they clique to the values imparted to them.
What are indicators for such pressure?
If as a parent, you identify the following signs, be on alert:
- Dislike for school
- Resist class work & Homework
- Act Irresponsibly
- Resent & resist your authority
- Disobey & misbehave
- Refuse help
What can kids indulge in, while under peer pressure?
- Lying and cheating
- Bunking classes
- Going after girls/boys
Who are the kids at a higher risk of peer pressure?
It is important to know these factors and identify if you can associate with any of these in your child in order to ensure that you work on these areas:
- Low self esteem
- Lack of confidence
- Feeling isolated from peers and/ or Family
- Lack of direction in Life
- Poor academic abilities or performance
How can we help our kids deal with peer pressure?
Parents play a very important role in helping children deal with peer pressure. The better relationship you will have with your kids, the more they will be able to handle any undue pressure.
Children need understanding, acceptance, advice & direction. Therfore make extra concious effort to integrate these aspects in their life.
- Teach children good communication skills, so they know how to resist any undue pressures and temptations.
- If children express negative emotions, show patience and try to understand their point of view.
- Parents must learn the power of Empathy. Accept age appropriate behavior and desires.
- Learn positive parenting skills, so you can learn techniques to help children cope with all pressures.
- Understand the psychology of kids, so you can learn the appropriate coping strategies to all relevant issues.
- Tell children stories from the lives of the Sahabah (RA) and discuss how they handled negative peer pressure.
- Advise your kids strongly about the importance of making it a habit to connect to Allah whenever they face any peer pressure.
- Enforce upon your kids to recite the duas of protection and make them realize that it is their strongest weapon so that they integrate these duas wholeheartedly in their life and not as a mere ritual. Make them feel the power of the duas too.
- Teach children to learn to exhort positive peer pressure and be original.
The Most Important Reminder!
The most important thing to remember is that the only source which will give strength to your kids to deal with peer pressure is strong connection with ALLAH !!
About the Author:
The Author of this article is Director, HamarayBachchay (Children’s Department), Alhuda International Islamabad.
For more parenting resources visit: www.hamaraybachchay.com