Kids today have a lot of pressure on them, especially if they worry what others think about them. Peer pressure can start in elementary school and only continues to get worse the older that children get. The best way to help your children avoid peer pressure and do what they truly want to do is to encourage it from a very young age. If your child won’t wear a certain article of clothing or play with a certain toy in front of others at a young age because he is worried about what others will think, it is time to have a plan.
Standing up for Themselves
A submissive child can have a hard time standing up for himself in any situation. Take the situation of your child not playing with a favorite toy in front of others for fear of being made fun of by others; this is the chance to teach your child to be assertive, standing up for what he wants. It can be difficult to teach your child not to worry about what others think, but with enough practice, the thought can be driven home. Start with your child’s toy or article of clothing and encourage him to play with it or wear it in front of one or two people at first. Once he realizes that it isn’t so bad to be assertive and stand up for himself, he will gradually do it in front of more people until it becomes natural.
Learn to Ignore what Others Think
As an adult, you know that you cannot please everyone, but children do not understand that and will want to please everyone, no matter what the cost. The problem that children run into when they ignore their own feelings and give into what others want or believe, is that they are not pleasing themselves. Where does that leave your child? It is up to you to teach him to ignore what others think and consider his own needs first. When your child is happy, his demeanor will be better and his ability to make friends will be even better. Those that don’t like him for who he is are not true friends. This can be a tough lesson to teach him, but in the end he will be happier to be around those that want to be around him for who he is, not who they want him to be.
Teach Self Confidence
It can be difficult to teach self confidence in a child, but with a few simple steps it can be done. A child that is unsure of himself needs to be involved in decision making in the home. It could be something as simple as what color shirt he should wear, what you should have as a side dish for dinner or something along those lines. You can also ask your child for help often. When he feels important, his self-confidence will naturally begin to increase. This will help him to learn to believe in himself and not worry what others think at any time.
Do you have a child that has a hard time staying true to himself? Let him go on the journey with Max in “Fireman Max – The Perfect Halloween Costume” to help him relate to Max and try to overcome his difficulties with staying true to himself.