When we as a generation that grew up without any exposure to the internet or technology are so usurped by this social media and selfies and x-box trend, imagine the role these will play in the lives of a generation that opened their eyes to FB and spoke their first words on a Skype chat!
Fancy cars, hi-tech phones, playing tennis albeit on the PS4 and the perfect selfie- these are going to be the natural stimuli to our kids.
I am not a fan of keeping your kid in a bubble. You can just delay the process but eventually your kid will be sucked into this materialistic and virtual-space-dependent world and they better be equipped to deal with it.
But how do you teach your kid to learn to draw a line. To know what she really needs as a necessity and to know to differentiate between need, want and luxury.
All these things can be taught in one go if you can teach your kid to avoid just one thing- PEER PRESSURE.
Without a doubt peer pressure is the biggest nightmare for parents. And it is the root cause of all the evils actually.
When a kid shows off in school that his parents bought him an ipad, it ignites a burning desire in your kid too. When you see that your friends have a fancy car shaped bed for their son, it becomes the top on your shopping priority list.
Not only your kid, we as parents face tremendous peer pressure everyday too!
So both parents and kids need to learn where to draw the line and how to do it!
I discovered two great golden words that I have taught my daughter (and myself) to liberate her from this pressure.
The words I have taught her are:
Yes it’s an insanely stupid sounding idea. Too simple to be true. But try out this exercise sometime.
Kids in my daughter’s class (and oh kids are so cruel!) tease her with a new remote control car saying that she doesn’t have one. She just shrugs her shoulder and says, “Too bad!”
At 12 when her “cool” friend is kissing a boy and she hasn’t had her first kiss. She shrugs her shoulder and says “TOO BAD”
At 16, when kids of her class smuggle in a bottle of beer and she is ridiculed for not joining the party. “TOO BAD!!”
If she is being lured into anything and doesn’t want it, need it or have it…..teach her to have the balls to shrug off the invitation or the mockery.
We have taught her this through play, exercise and situation building games where I lure her and she just shrugs and says “TOO BAD”
I am not saying that it works like a charm every time and you have a foolproof plan now, but, I am definite that if inculcated as a habit it will make her coming years as a teenager and adult a lot smoother.
More importantly, even I use these golden words to escape the pressure.
“Oh your daughter is 3+, and you have not put her in formal school!!!” And I just say shrug my shoulders and say, “TOO BAD”
I am hoping that my daughter owes some bit of facing-struggle capacity to these two words. But if you ask me, I feel so liberated I learnt to say that. Am so thankful actually!
Not only as a mother, as a person I am actually a free spirit. Not wild. I am definitely not a wild child. But I am a free soul. Flying in this fabric of time and space. Making my own rules, building my own path. I don’t understand most of the rules. I am a slave to my instincts. All these pressures, esp materialistic ones, seem to break my journey and puncture my path. I have never understood them.
However now I at least know how to deal with them-
Two words that rescue me, liberate me and take a load of pressure off my head!
As a woman, if I can teach my daughter how to face societal pressure – I think I’ve done my bit.
And even after that if she turns out to be a little confused and running only after materialistic goals, I am just gonna shrug my shoulders and say- TOO BAD!