Money and Peer Pressure

You would think that money, printing and minting would go together perfectly. After all, it is precisely these processes that are used to produce bills and coins.

This “triad” only becomes problematic when pressure and coinage are not exerted by machines, but by other people and media. Children in particular are still exposed to the pressure of a group, i.e. mostly their circle of friends, quite unprotected. What can we parents do to support our children in facing peer pressure with self-confidence?

Peer pressure knows no age

We know it all too well from our adult lives: there are always those who have more money, wear more expensive clothes, can afford bigger houses and cars and more exotic vacations. As long as we look at these people from a distance, feelings of envy can dissipate more quickly. However, as soon as they become part of our circle of friends or colleagues, we too are suddenly and sometimes unexpectedly exposed to peer pressure: Do we cancel the date at the expensive restaurant? Do we keep a low profile when the question arises as to who is paying today?

The same can happen to children. After all, if suddenly almost everyone in their circle of friends is wearing the same expensive shoes or showing off the latest smartphone, the pressure to own these things too can become great. After all, such possessions also represent a kind of identification with the group; their possession is a kind of symbol of belonging to the group.

“Giving money”

The desire for recognition from your circle of friends is undoubtedly one of the strongest drivers of peer pressure. Attached are a few ideas on how you can help your child alleviate this pressure:

  • If your child feels excluded because he/she doesn’t own these things, talk to him/her about what else the group has in common, such as a show that everyone watches, a sport that many play, or an ice cream parlor that everyone likes to go to. This will move the focus away from owning and towards sharing.
  • If everyone in your child’s circle of friends is giving each other expensive gifts for their birthday, encourage your child to invent something themselves, come up with an event, or give something very personal that isn’t necessarily expensive, but valuable because it’s unique. Who knows, maybe this trend will eventually catch on with the group.
  • Influencers are first and foremost business people. So if it’s “good manners” among your child’s friends to always buy the latest and most expensive things that TikTok, Instagram or YouTube stars present on their channels or accounts, talk openly with your child about whether he or she likes these things at all and whether he or she really has a use for them or whether it doesn’t make more sense to save the money and buy something later that you really want.
  • Before a trip to the cinema or amusement park with your friends, you can discuss with your child whether it might make sense for everyone in the group to know the maximum amount they can spend. That way, everyone knows and no one is embarrassed to have to borrow money or cancel the trip out of shame.
  • – Borrowing money and incurring debt should also not be taboo when it comes to group dynamics. Make it clear to your child that you know and understand peer pressure yourself, but borrowed money, on the other hand, is debt. And debt among friends can change friendships for the worse.

Financial education is self-confidence education

Of course, doing without and postponing consumption are difficult, especially if your child has the impression that buying this or that thing will make him or her more respectable among friends.

That’s why it’s all the more important to provide your child with financial knowledge, so that he or she can gradually learn for themselves that consumption is not always smart and that strategic saving is always something for smart financial foxes.

The Finny Kids app, as the first mobile banking app for children between 7 and 12 years of age, supports you exactly in this: Through gamification of money knowledge, children learn playfully what money is worth. They can set an individual savings goal, visualize it with their own pictures and share it with friends and relatives.

This is another way for children to understand that peer pressure is not the same as group pressure. When grandma and grandpa join in with mom and dad to see when their own savings goal is reached, or how their child does in the regular challenges, what awards and rewards they receive, and how their pocket money account fills up digitally and tangibly, the positive energy in peer pressure becomes tangible.

Overall, the majority of young people in this survey confirmed that they make a very good or good living with this income. The proportion of those for whom pocket money and the like are not enough to live well has decreased steadily compared with recent years. Unfortunately, we don’t know whether this is due to the new modesty of young people, a lack of opportunities to spend the money, or increasing generosity on the part of parents and grandparents.

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