In a group of twenty or more students, you will find all types of children. Each child is unique in his or her thinking and actions. Among the various personalities in each classroom, there are followers and leaders.
Leaders are the children who tend to be the starters of events and conversations. Some of these children will be the leaders of positive actions and others will be the leaders of trouble actions. Leaders are usually contributors to both positive and negative peer pressure.
Followers are usually never the cause of anything. However, they participate in everything. These children never begin bad behavior. Yet, they join in when others begin undesirable actions. Followers are usually greatly influenced by the peer pressure from leaders.
Each morning my students are given two choices for lunch. I have some students that state their choice without considering what the rest of the class is eating. Then, I have some students that will not make a choice until the look to see what other particular students are having for lunch.
I have students in my class that follow others and only get into trouble when they are associated with a leader who has bad behavior. Alone, these students are never any trouble.
I have students that are leading instigators. They cause trouble and encourage others to join in on the actions. These students misbehave alone or with other students.
It is very important for children to be strong in their values. While it is not desirable to have a student that is unwilling to compromise, a child should be able to state his or her opinion without the assistance of others.
Children need the confidence to resist the temptation and peer pressure when other students are misbehaving.
We usually think of incidences such as these happening with older children concerning drugs and alcohol. However, peer pressure and the influence from other students begin at a very early age. The sooner you can teach your child to hold strong when he is right, the easier it will be for him when he encounters pressure for harmful activities.
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