How to Encourage Kids to Not Follow the Crowd

Create Your Own Confidence is book 4 in psychotherapist Becky Goddard-Hill’s series of emotional health activity books for 6–12-year-olds to support them to develop robust and positive emotional wellbeing

The book contains 50 topics dealing with a variety of issues impacting kids confidence from friendships to family and including school , body image and so on. Each topic includes an activity for kids to put their learning into practice and is supported by science and research – so kids understand why it works.

Here Becky shares an extract from her newly published book with us on not following the crowd.

Not following the crowd

Following the crowd means doing what others do. People do this because they want to be liked and accepted and because it feels safe. It’s a speedy way to decide what to do and stops you having to think. 

To not follow the crowd means to go in a different direction, make your own choices and do your own thing.

How it works

Psychologists call the tendency people have to do something because everyone else is doing it ‘the bandwagon effect’ as people usually ‘jump on the bandwagon’ (copying everyone else) 

It’s very common. 

They found that even usually tidy people are more likely to litter if they’re in an environment that’s littered, and less likely to litter if they’re in an environment that’s clean.

Even though it might feel scary going your own way it increases your confidence because you learn to depend on YOURSELF not others. It teaches you to trust yourself. 

If no-one is including a child at breaktime but you ask them to play 

If it’s cool to have plaits but you wear a bun

If your friends plays football but you love ballet

Then you are doing a great job of not just following the crowd.

Sometimes it is easy to do your own thing but not always. You  might fear that it will make you unpopular and that you will be left out or stand out. Will this stop you making choices that are right for you?

What matters?

  • If your friends are doing something unsafe or unkind it is important not to join in
  • If you have a dream or believe in something, it’s important not to walk away from it

Choosing your own path can keep you safe and make a difference.

Activity – Time for a chat

What do you do, or think or believe that is different to most of your friends? 

Talk about this with someone you trust and let your feelings about it flow. Listen to how much you care and how passionate you feel. It is important to know what matters to you. 

Not following the crowd is brave and makes you, YOU.

Create Your Own Confidence is published by Harper Collins and is out now 

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