Raising a Popular Child
Who doesn’t want their child to be well-liked?
After all, a large part of being successful in life hinges on how well you can get along with others. It takes plenty of social and emotional skill to get others to admire you and want to spend time with you.
If you want your child to be well-liked, you’ve probably thought about raising a popular child.
The question is, “Should you focus on popularity or something else?”
Popularity has a downside
Kids who focus on being popular learn quickly that popularity is about the company they keep. These kids are focused on achieving status through social connections.
Children often think that being popular in school is a desirable trait. Kids want their peers to like them, and they need the validation that they are attractive, witty, and fun to be around.
Being popular, however, is a high-maintenance activity. Popular kids must continuously please others and stay ahead of trends to remain popular. They are often surrounded by shallow peers who either want something from the popular kids or who want to take their place at the top of the popularity pyramid.
Popularity also can require plenty of time and effort, which may pull the focus away from studies, family, and faith.
By the time kids graduate from high school, they realize that chasing popularity was less important than originally thought.
What matters more
Being respected is better than being popular, and you can teach your child how to earn the respect of others. Some strategies include:
- Avoid gossip
- Be humble
- Stand up for causes and people
- Keep your promises
- Show that you care about others
Teach your child how to show emotions. When kids learn how to work through their emotion, they also learn how to understand the feelings of others. Learning emotional intelligence builds resiliency. A child who learns how to be emotionally resilient can handle stress better than one who is not resilient.
Let your child know that it’s okay to have one or two close friends rather than a throng of acquaintances. Maintaining superficial relationships can be more stressful because affiliations come and go, affecting perceptions of popularity. Quality in a friendship is far more important than quantity.
Content children have a sense of self-estemm that others do not. You can give your children that confidence by letting them know that they are loved unconditionally. Their popularity shouldn’t matter as much as their self-confidence.
A child who has self-confidence and emotional resiliency will be more respected, well-liked, and resilient than children who focus exclusively on popularity.