Popularity Is About Status and Likability
According to research, there are two types of popularity, and those are status and likability. Kids who seek status are exposed to a higher risk for risky behavior, over-dependence on others, unhappiness, and relationship problems. On the other hand, likability creates a positive feedback loop, showing that likable people are usually treated better, and that makes them more upbeat and more likely to get opportunities to practice social skills and be even more likable. Over the years, being popular can translate to benefits like better jobs and more stable relationships.
How parents can encourage kids to enjoy more popularity is something the research tries to address. It points out that it’s important to note that a lot of factors that make people more likable are beyond anyone’s control. So, neither parents nor kids should be blamed for anything. Yet, there are mental frameworks and learned behaviors that can impact kids’ likability, and caregivers can make changes to help in the long run.
Popularity Is Important for Kids
Parents who worry about popularity can start with several guiding stones they can use. Being less critical is one. Criticism is definitely a factor when it comes to bringing up kids, and the amount of criticism can predict popularity. In general, kids who know aggression well tend to be less liked, and that’s something they pick up at home. So, being less critical of a kid can be very beneficial for their popularity.
Exposure to positive role models can help a kid become more cooperative, altruistic, and kind. Being emotionally attuned with a kid is also crucial, but shouldn’t be overdone. While some parents make the mistake of dominating, setting stern limits, and keeping themselves reserved while playing with their children, others get too emotionally attuned to their kids and become hypersensitive to their children’s emotions. This can be negative because being overly protective is a strong predictor of unpopularity. Securing attachment through a combination of reliability and autonomy is the right way to achieve a good balance.
Discussing Popularity With Kids Is Vital
According to research, there are various other factors when it comes to popularity among kids. These include the level of intervening in a kid’s friendships. While being too hands-off isn’t acceptable, being too intrusive can damage a kid’s popularity. Dominating a conversation with a kid or letting the kid dominate the conversation can also lead to problems with popularity. Another factor for popularity is building up self-esteem. Kids shouldn’t be taught to attribute negative characteristics to themselves but shouldn’t always consider themselves almighty and all-knowing.
Finally, discussing popularity and likability with kids is very important. Kids shouldn’t be taught to prioritize likability but should know the difference between the two types of popularity and why it’s important to differentiate between them.