And its powerful, let’s focus that peer pressure for positive things– like playing!
I know… I know… kids need to play. We’ve all heard it before. Well, we, the parents have heard it before, but our kids? They might not have gotten that memo. In fact there are kids out there that are afraid to play. Peer pressure is a powerful thing and it starts early in life, that is why we need to be aware and help our kids use that peer pressure for positive things– like playing!
So what am I really talking about?
If you guessed “bullying”, then your partly right. The biggest thing that steals our children’s joy is fear. Fear can show up in a child’s life in many different places. The obvious one is bullies, but bullies are always so easy to identify. In some cases they even look and act like friends. The cause of this fear is gossip. Gossip creates a negative form of peer pressure, one based on fear.
Gossip makes some kids powerful and others powerless. Its painful and has the ability to not only steal joy, but play as well. Who can play and have fun when they are in the grip of fear and anxiety?
Play on the other hand, lowers anxiety, and increases joy, self assurance and are key to future success. No pressure though… right!
So what do we do about it?
We talk to our kids. Make sure we create an relationship that allows our kids to tell us what’s going on in their lives. Then we coach them on what to do when negative things arise. One way to do that is through books on the topic you are dealing with.
Is your child dealing with gossiping and fear? Then my book “The Little Yellow Llama” may help. Its a story about a little Llama that ignores the gossip and keeps on playing. Yes she is lonely and longs for friends, but this is a case where being lonely is better than being afraid.
I’m not suggesting that its healthy to leave a child in this environment, but changing class or school isn’t always an option. So we have to deal with the situation we are given. Teach your child to be the change they want to see.
If you aren’t true to yourself then what’s the point
Children who live in fear never reach their full potential. They struggle to think outside of the box, and have higher levels of anxiety over every decision they make. I know that sometimes we have to coach our kids about choosing to fit in or choosing behavior that makes them stand out, but before we do that we need to take a deeper look at what is really driving that choice?
If its picking your nose in public, then yeah, lets work on not doing that, it just makes social relationships easier. Remember I said peer pressure starts early in life and I meant it. A child picking his nose, or singing and dancing when your kid likes to singing and dancing, may seem like separate stages of life, lets rethink that. Time and place appropriateness? Yes, then lets find some common ground and go from there.
The little yellow llama didn’t just ignore what was going on around her, she made an action plan, then revised it as she went along. Things don’t always work out the first time or the 10th time, but you keep trying. That is how you are true to yourself, and how you work to a more positive tomorrow.
The only thing better than play, parents and caregivers that truly care! You show that by being aware and being involved.
Now go have some fun!
Order your copy of The Little Yellow Llama on amazon HERE.
Want more Llama’s?
Check out my free coloring page post here.
Want more books from Shannon L Mokry?
All links below take you to their Amazon pages.