Friends are important for your child to stay happy and healthy. But sometimes, they can have an undesirable influence too. Here are six bad habits your child can pick up from friends.
By Ashwin Lobo
"In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge." — Aristotle
The above quote by Greek philosopher Aristotle tells us how important friends are to us. For a little one, making friends can be child's play, literally. What's more, friends and friendships play a crucial role in a child's life.
Healthy friendships have a very positive effect on children. Friends promote the development of social and emotional skills, and foster a sense of belonging. They help a child learn how to empathise, solve problems, connect with others, and much more.
However, sometimes, friends can be a bad influence as well. And, when your child is still learning values and morals, this can have an extremely undesirable effect. Watch out for these six bad habits that your child can pick up from his friends.
1. Cursing: As children get older, they are exposed to strong language. When we hear our children cursing for the first time, it takes us by surprise and we worry about how or where they learned such words. Children can pick up bad words from many sources, with friends being one of them.
2. Lying: Children can lie for a number of reasons, such as to enhance self-esteem, gain approval, draw attention to themselves, and avoid consequences. But irrespective of why a child is lying, it is important as parents to try and nip the habit in the bud.
3. Talking back: As children grow up, they learn to talk back. They may do so for several reasons such as to voice their annoyance, exert their independence and show defiance. Children can pick up the habit of talking back by watching those around them, including their friends.
4. Copying from classmates: Copying a few assignments or a portion of homework may look like harmless behaviour. But, this may soon turn into a habit. A study by researchers has shown that copying greatly decreases academic performance and increases the failure rate of students. When caught copying, a child can also be subjected to disciplinary action.
5. Materialism: Children are an important consumer segment today. More and more goods and services are being produced for them. If your child has friends who are preoccupied with branded toys, clothes and accessories, then he could also end up becoming materialistic in his outlook.
6. Bullying: Instances of bullying by children are on the rise, and an increasing number of cases are being reported today. Your child may also turn into a bully if he is always with friends who tend to tease or torment other children.
As a parent, while you give your child the freedom to mingle with other children, it is also important that you keep a tab on what he and his friends are doing. Taking an active interest in your child's life can help you identify any unacceptable behaviour your child may pick up and curb it at the earliest.
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