Tips for Dealing with Peer Pressure
up to peer pressure is one of the greatest challenges that children
face. Many kids are unable to stand up to the challenge and are
led into participating in risky and often even illegal activities.
your child deal with peer pressures by doing the following:
the bond with your child. She will be more likely to respect your
views and values and better able to resist peer pressure if she
has a good relationship with you and feels you are a source of
support. This bond needs to be nurtured long before your child's
your child's self-esteem. Children who are confident and have
positive self-worth are more likely to pursue friendships with
children who are good role models and better able to resist negative
peer pressure. Find opportunities to boost your child's self-esteem
and enjoy success by involving her in activities that capitalize
on her strengths and interests. And, of course, praise him for
things he does well at home.
a good example. Your child is a keen observer of what you do and
may learn more from what she sees than what she hears. If she
sees that you are constantly striving to keep up with other parents,
she will likely do the same with his peers.
with your child about peer pressure. Let your child know that
you understand how hard it can be at her age to do things that
make her stand out. Tell her that her peers may respect her decision
not to join them in an activity even though they may not express
it, and that some may even admire her courage in resisting what
they could not. Help her understand that a friend who is pressuring
her to do something that may be harmful is not much of a friend.
Appeal to her desire for autonomy by encouraging her not to let
others manipulate or make decisions for her.
overreacting when talking about peer issues. Your child may tell
you things that'll probably make your jaw drop. If you overreact,
you'll discourage her from talking with you about these issues
again. At the same time use these moments to introduce some cautions
without moralizing or lecturing. Although it may seem as though
she's dismissing what you're saying, she will hear you.
your battles tactfully. Don't make an issue out of your child's
wanting to wear the same clothes as her friends or adopt a trendy
hairstyle. Make your stand on high-risk peer behavior. Battling
your child constantly over minor issues may drive your child toward
peers who are similarly alienated from their parents. Not sweating
the small stuff will enable you to be more effective when you
challenge her on the larger issues.
your child develop good decision-making skills. If she can learn
to trust her own instincts when making decisions, she will be
less likely to let others make decisions for her. Encourage her
to think through the possible consequences of the decision she
is facing, including whether it may cause her harm. Let her know
that giving in to the pressure now may make life harder for her
your child develop responses to peers. Help her figure out what
to say to peers who are pressuring her to participate in high-risk
activities. Suggest responses that are short and simple and that
she can say comfortably. If she is receptive, role-play with her
or encourage her to practice in front of a mirror.
to know your child's friends, and create a network of parents.
Only accept friendships that involve your daughter inviting her
friends home. Spend some time with them and assess whether they
are positive influences.
hesitate to set limits for your child. Your willingness to say
no to her sets a good example and may help give her the courage
to say no to a peer when faced with a potentially harmful situation.
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