Raising a Popular Kid
Every parent wants a child that is liked. You feel reassured knowing your child is popular and has many friends. It isn’t about your or their social standing either; you feel more confident in the child’s ability to function outside the home and deal with difficult situations. Of course, success comes part and parcel with popularity as you need excellent social and emotional skills.
So, should your focus be on raising a child that’s popular or that’s well respected?
Being Popular is Fun, but Comes with a Drawback
There is no doubt that being popular is great fun. Everyone wants to be friends with you and join your circle; for a young child especially, feel as though they belong. Unfortunately, popularity is more about social connections and status, rather than being liked. It isn’t a desirable trait, even though children think it is.
Remember, children want validation. They need to know they’re fun and pretty; popularity, however, is a high-maintenance activity. You must be ahead of the latest trend and please others; it’s tiresome and very superficial. Children are also surrounded by peers who are shallow and are only interested in being at the top of the food chain in school.
Popularity has its upsides, but it does need a lot of effort which takes away time from family and studies. It is only when the child graduates high school that they begin to understand chasing popularity was less important than they thought.
Respect Matters More Than Popularity
Anyone can be popular but that doesn’t automatically come with respect. Respect is earned. Your child might not win any popularity contests, but if they’re respected by their peers, they are the true winners. Being respected is more important than being the popular one in the class, and you should ensure your child knows that.
You can teach your child to be respectful of others by doing the following:
- Being Humble
- Standing Up for A Cause They Believe In
- Standing Up for People
- Avoiding Gossip
- Caring for People’s Feelings
- Respecting Other Religions or Views
- Keeping a Promise
Respect is an important aspect of life. Unfortunately, in high schools, popularity often comes at the price of respect.
Teach a Child to Show their Emotions
People think when you show emotions, it’s a sign of weakness. That’s not the case; while emotions make you vulnerable at times, they keep you human and everyone has them. Teach your child to understand their emotions and that of others. You can teach them how to build resilience and handle difficult situations too.
Having Fewer Friends is Fine
It doesn’t matter if your child has only a few close friends. It’s easy to say you are friends with a hundred people but it’s often superficial. Those relationships are more harmful than good, whereas a close-knit group of friends is worth more. If your child only has 6 good friends, that is fine; they don’t need 60 to be happy.
Give a Child Unconditional Love
When a child is content at home and feels loved, they tend to have good self-esteem. Show your children they are loved unconditionally. It can do their self-confidence a world of good and makes them less worried about popularity and their status.
Raise a Caring Kid
Children are liked when they show their true selves – honesty, kindness, and caring – and are respected for it. Those are more important things to focus on rather than being the most popular in the school.