Peer pressure – more so than family and teachers, it is perhaps the strongest influence on your child’s life. So is one to infer from this that our children’s development is at the luck and mercy of whomever they end up befriending (or who befriends them)? Not at all, but it does mean that we, as parents, need to take a proactive role in managing their influences and it starts with recognizing that this will not happen on its own. All too often, when it comes to the issue of diversity in the people that they meet, we take a passive role in the way that our children handle it – we leave it to their teachers in school systems that also bring the peer pressure dynamic to bear. In a sense, one offsets the influences of the other. This is all well and good if you are fortunate enough to see your child mixing with the right peer influences, but why leave this to chance? Get behind your child’s teachers or better yet, take a lead role in establishing the grounding principles of Respect, Compassion and Understanding (RCU™) – simple words, but when truly indoctrinated, are literally world changers. At the root cause of dissension and war today is a disregard for another person’s beliefs – a ‘my way is the only way’ mentality which then leads to the unfortunate and sometimes deadly response to others if they do not fall in line.
In the last part of this 6 part series, we will look at practical ways to get exert our influence insofar as making RCU™ a fabric of your child’s life.