How often have we been told that peer pressure is a bad thing?
Yup. It’s a bonafide Golden Rule of childhood. We heard it over and over again from our parents, teachers and other adults. “Don’t do something just because everyone else is doing it.” “Stand up to anyone trying to make you do something that doesn’t feel right.” “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you jump, too? Huh? Wouldja?”
And hey, who am I to argue? In most cases, it’s a pretty good rule of thumb. If the people around you are pushing you to do something that just doesn’t feel right in your heart, you usually can’t go wrong by saying no, stepping away, and let those other fools learn something the hard way.
But it turns out that this whole “peer pressure is bad” thing isn’t entirely true everywhere. At The Ivey, we take an immersive approach to socialization. And we have some members who – in other circumstances – might avoid physical exercise, dining with friends, playing fun games, singing, dancing, making art, or generally being social with their peers. But when they find themselves immersed in our fun, social and active environment, they naturally find themselves doing these things, and loving it. Not to mention, the healing power of such socialization has been proven in studies time and time again.
Now that’s what I call Positive Peer Pressure!
For an aging loved one needing daytime care or oversight, such peer pressure simply doesn’t exist at home, when they are isolated from peers during the day. It also doesn’t tend to happen often in residential living facilities or nursing homes, where the environment is less immersive than The Ivey. Participation rates plummet when you need to knock on the individual’s door and ask them to join in the activities happening down the hall.
All of this to say: I welcome all the “peer pressure” that happens in our nurturing place here. If that means that our members and care staff are a motley crew of mischief-makers, then more power to ’em! They’re having an immensely positive influence on each other – and so far, I haven’t gotten any angry calls from home