Children’s opinions are influenced by their friends. Is this a positive or negative development? What can parents do to influence their children’s opinions?
Peers are people of our age who have experiences and interests, similar or different to ours. They influence us to do similar things, good and bad. This influence is called peer pressure which I believe no one is immune to. In this essay, I intend to discuss the positive sides and dark sides of peer pressure in hope of suggesting ways on how parents can do to positively influence their children.
On the positive side, peers set plenty of good examples for each other. For instance, if peers do well in school or do their best in a sport, then they can influence those around them to be more goal-oriented, too. Secondly, peers who are kind and loyal can influence others to build these qualities in themselves. What is more, peers can help each other make decisions such as what courses to take and even how to handle a family argument. Peers often give each other good advice. Also, peers might get each other involved in clubs, sports, or religious groups. One’s world would be far less rich without peers to encourage or to offer moral support when one needs it most.
On the negative side sometimes, peers may pressurize each other into doing something wrong, such as shoplifting, taking drugs or drinking or taking dangerous risks when driving a car. Young people are going through a lot of stress in their life as it is the time when the most crucial decisions of life have to be taken such as pursuing a career or choosing a life partner. It is very easy at such times to succumb to negative peer pressure.
It is not easy to make sure that children handle peer pressure right, and I firmly believe that the onus falls on the parents to give a stable family atmosphere and talk to their children about peer pressure. Explain what a powerful force it can be, and tell them that the excuse that “Everyone did it” will never be accepted and that they will be held responsible for their actions.
To sum up, peer pressure is inevitable and it can be positive as well as negative. However, if parents teach their children how to handle negative peer pressure, it can be largely positive.