I was surprised one day when my daughter didn’t want to eat a vegetable she had always enjoyed before. The reason she no longer liked this vegetable was because one of her third grade classmates told her it was ‘yucky.’ My daughter at the vegetable after we pointed out that maybe her friend didn’t like it because it wasn’t cooked the same way we cooked it.
A University of Maryland-led study has found that the seeds of peer pressure are sewn when a child is about nine years old. At that time the child is still able to deal with peer pressure, but it doesn’t take long before the effects of peer pressure can be too difficult to deal with, especially when it means acceptance or rejection.
Peer pressure can be a form of bullying that leads to some form of injustice. Children usually want to be fair, but they also want to be liked. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your nine or ten-year old is just imagining things or that there might not be a problem if he or she is uncomfortable with something. A parent who makes it a point to communicate with the child will often recognize the effects of peer-pressure and can help the child realize that the vegetables might not have been cooked differently.