How to Become Popular


“How to become popular” is not worth writing about. But at some point in your children’s lives, they will have to determine if they are going to take actions that make them popular or take actions that will set them up for success. Now that is worth writing about. Obviously there are “crossover actions.” That is, actions that can be popular in the sight of your kid’s peers’ eyes and also be a positive thing for your kid. However, in my life as an educator observing kids almost every day, there are relatively few crossover actions. There is usually a set of behaviors that is NOT in line with the parent philosophy that kid peers believe are “cool.” And there’s also usually a set of positive and correct behaviors that get made fun of…just like when you were in school. Hence we have the age old problem of dealing with peer pressure.

Peer pressure is just a result of wanting to be accepted by one’s peers. And some of the best kids, with the best parenting, will do some of the dumbest things to impress other 14 year olds! It’s crazy!

This problem can be dealt with by a large degree with two strategies:

#1: YOU create your kids’ identity by defining who they are.

(It’s best to start at a very young age when they believe everything you tell them, or get serious buy in from an older kid.)

There are a lot of nonsensical parenting tips out there, but ranking near the top of that list is the old adage, “Leave them alone and let them discover who they are.” Sure, Dr. Spock.

I think King Solomon is probably a bit more on target…”Train them in the way they are supposed to go…” TRAIN them! That is assuming you and I have an end in mind and will develop habits, lifestyles, consequences, and rewards to move the child to a certain place mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Lots of assuming, huh?!

#2:  Do #1 constantly in bite size pieces.

That’s it. That’s the formula. Tell them who they are. Show them who they are. Remind them of who they are. Point out examples of others modeling correctly who they are. Point out examples of who they are not. Show them ugly examples of the results of people taking the wrong actions that are “Not who we are.” And do it until their brain is stained forever.


About Kris Hogan

With a 16-year educational tenure under his belt, Kris Hogan has spent the last nine years working at Grapevine Faith High School in Grapevine, Texas. In addition to sitting on its administrative team, Hogan also pulls double duty as Faith’s head football coach. Hogan also was the subject of Remember Why You Play, a 2008 book by sports columnist and author David Thomas that chronicled the lives, struggles and successes of Coach Hogan and his team. READ MORE→