Social Influences: Are you Popular or Special?
There are so many influences in your children’s lives today. Do you know where they all come from? If not, would you like to? Here are some questions to get this conversation started. Listen to what your children say and to what they don’t say. You may want to spend some time on the coaching section before you actually bring this topic to the dinner table.
Many studies suggest that social media not only influences children but also results in materialism and the attitude that they are entitled to the “things” that they see others have. This can be a dangerous viewpoint so understanding what your children think is very important. Take this opportunity to not only see their perspective but to also influence them with the values you desire for your family.
What does it mean to be popular at your school?
They may describe their classmates in terms of appearance, economic status, athletic ability, or number of friends. Whatever their criteria, listen to their tone. Are they comfortable with the topic or does it instill a bit of nervousness? Can you tell if they have pondered this question before? Just listen.
Is it important to be popular at your school and why?
Their perception is reality. If they think it is important then you certainly want to know why. And, if they do not think it is important, you want to understand if it is because they do not consider themselves as popular or just because they see the bigger picture that life is more than just their time at school. If they have hopes and dreams about their future, their time at school is less about popularity and more about learning and improving their potential.
How does being popular make school more difficult?
What? Consider this: if they consider themselves popular they may also feel more stress or pressure to perform according to the social influences of their definition – their appearance, materialistic agenda, athletic drive, even grades. If they do not consider themselves popular and have a sense of inferiority, discussing the difficulties of that perceived status can boost their own self image.
Simply by giving them a platform to discuss this topic will give them a sense of significance and give you, as the parent, an opportunity to understand the social influences affecting your children AND the opportunity to remind them how much you care for them. Be sure to conclude this conversation with uplifting commendations that affirm your children’s value. Remind them that they are special to you. C2it and be blessed!