My son just successfully completed the 4th trip around the sun and I couldn't have been prouder of him. Today, it feels as if time just flew by but looking back I realise that it wasn't that easy for both of us. From sign language to body language to actual words and now gesticulation, we have come a long way.
As the birth-Day drew closer, we did all the shopping for decorations, return gifts and meals. We wrote the invites, sealed them up and went on to invite his friends. All his friends are 2-5 years of age and the moment we invited, every kid's curiosity hit the peak and they asked, "Will u serve pizza?? Will you have minions at the party?" Some others said, "Will u have cupcakes at the party?? Will u have a blue theme or a red theme party..What will we get for return gifts?" I was surprised at the kind of knowledge these 4-5-year-olds had and the way they have been influenced by the grown-ups and their peers. These kids would be demanding things way beyond their age and the parents must be having a tough time.
Since none of that was in place, I was worried about you. I wondered, "Is this the right age to fall for peer pressure? Isn't it too much for a 4-year-old to lose his innocence and act like grown-ups?" I was bemused by these kids when my son loudly said, " I don't care if we have all of that or not. But one thing is for sure that we all will have loads of fun." It couldn't have been said better or done better. He simply ran over everyone in the room, including the parents of those kids.
I don't know how long he would be able to refrain from this pressure but I hope it continues for a lifetime. Especially in the teens, when peer pressure grips the kids for worse. Peer pressure is one of the deadliest evils of this society. Kids believe that succumbing to peer pressure will make them a perfect fit in the group and they will end feeling good about themselves. However, it is very tough to betray one's inner self, beliefs and desires every single day, in order to conform to what the friends want. Pleasing others has been deep-rooted in our society and most of the devils are being born out of this only.
Here are my 2 cents to my son (when he grows up) on how to handle peer pressure:
- Have a few good friends who give you positive energy instead of a herd of friends who are always trying to knock you down. Having like-minded friends with similar interests is always helpful in honing your skills.
- Talking to your parents and asking for their help is absolutely ok. I am 31 years old who is running the household on herself and yet there are times when I ask for my parent's advice. There are days when I feel low and I know that nobody can help me out, yet talking to parents calms me down and boosts my energy too.
- Whatever choice you pick up should be your own and not influenced by your friends. Acting cool and trying new things without your parent's knowledge will end you in trouble sooner or later. Be level-headed and try to follow your heart.
Let your kids be innocent and be happy. Encourage them to follow their heart and not others. Listen to everyone but do it only if their conscious allows them to. Let them be vigilant, be tough. Falter, fall, climb, run and do anything their heart says to. Just give them an assurance that "Your parents are always there for you. We have got your back!!"
Give that promise to your kids and I am sure they will not fall into the deadly trap of peer pressure.
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