As my daughter gets older I find myself thinking more and more about peer pressure. We talk a lot about advertising and I try to bunch peer pressure in with it - afterall, it really is a form of societal marketing - having the general public try to get the rest of the general public to use a product (in this case smoking or drugs). There is a book I'm interested in reading because I really believe that a close relationship with one's family and feeling like one belongs and is accepted and has a place in that family is extremely important to counter-act peer pressure and the need to join gangs and identify with destructive crowds/activities.
But actually doing that - actually making sure one's child feels like they are a valued member of a family and that is "their place" is a challenge. I don't want to end up like "Phil - the cool dad" from the show Modern Family, you know, a parent who is trying too hard to be the kid's friend and just looks like a dork. But I also don't want to be so authoritarian that I am just the rule-maker and someone to rebel against.
While I was on vacation in AZ I read a Jodi Picoult book (why do I do that? She's not a very good writer and her books are always strange and dark with unrealistic two-dimensional characters ...) and I kept thinking about that throughout the book, that the parents weren't involved enough in their children's lives to really know them. So, now that I know what I want to do, the big challenge is learning how to do it.
I picked up the Jodi Picoult book at the airport because I decided on vacation I should read something lighter than the book I'd brought, The Panic Virus. As it is, the book I brought was the lighter of the two. Although, it does get me all wound up every time I think about all the people who won't get their kids vaccinated because of weird, completely non-truth-based conspiracy theories based on misinformation as opposed to science ... a delusion that causes children their lives.