Helping Our Kids Let Go of “The Crowd”

Peer pressure, friends, cliques, socialization–it is all a huge part of growing up. Our kids learn a great deal about surviving in the real world from learning how to interact socially as they are growing and developing. But, our children also need a chance to hear their own voices, get away from the crowd, and get in touch with their individuality and figure out who they are when they are NOT part of a big peer group…

As parents, we can help our children learn to balance social time with alone time. Of course, some kids just seem to natural crave and find more time to be with themselves–but others can be socially motivated that when they are alone for five minutes they start to get uncomfortable and bored and head off to stir up something social. We need to find ways of encouraging our kids to have some down time and some alone time so they can figure out who they are AWAY from all the bustle and voices of other people.

Kids do not need to be doing something every minute of the day and they do not need to spend all their leisure time with other people–especially not constantly isolated with their same-age peers. Parents can help kids to mix things up in order to create balance and experience some connection with the inner soul. Perhaps declaring one night of the week as “friend free” and/or creating quiet spaces in your house where people can go to be alone. Parents can support and encourage solo endeavors that give the child a chance to do things completely on her own. Spending time with other people–even family members–is nice and often desirable, but for a child to really develop strong character and self-esteem, he has to gain an understanding of who he is away from all the bustle of peers and social activity.

Also: Tolerating Different Opinions and Values Within a Family

Helping Your Child Find Joy

Your Child’s First Clique