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Teach Your Child How to Deal with Peer Pressure

If we could hide our children away from the world from the age of 12-18 we wouldn’t have to worry a bit about peer pressure, but the truth of the matter is we do. It is a major issue in a pre-teen and teenagers life, in fact nearly 66% of teens that abuse drugs and alcohol state that they began the drug or drink due to peer pressure. Those are staggering statistics, the kind that makes any parent a little nervous about letting their teen or pre-teen even walk out of the door.

But the truth of the matter is we have to hope we have taught them how to handle peer pressure and make positive choices, and pray for the best because we sure can’t keep them locked up in our houses forever.

Grades 4th-6th
It seems as though no matter how well we teach our children about forming relationships with children who are positive role models, it always seems that one or two children who are not so positive seep into our child’s life. As parents we can minimize the effects of bad peer pressure by being the role model our children respect and hope to make proud.

Developing a close relationship with your child is your first best step to diminishing the chances of your child being pulled into negative peer pressure. Children who are close with their parents will open up more about negative children in their school or friendship groups and will feel more comfortable about talking to them about the types of peer pressure him and his friends are feeling. This includes planning regular family activities, such as family game night or weekly outings. This is a time a parent can have fun, leave stress at the office and enjoy their children as a close friend. Make the most out of these nights and step away from the parenting role, to enjoy life with your child.

Explain the main point of peer pressure to your child; anything that they are asked to do which makes them feel uncomfortable is peer pressure. When they feel like they will be laughed at or looked at different from their peers and feel pressured into something they are not willing to do.

Encourage your child to seek out friendships with others who are also not comfortable doing what some of the other children are doing. Encourage them to find friends who will support your child and will be positive role models for each other. There will be plenty of other children who wouldn’t dare give into peer pressure, as you hope your child will not.

Main points to address:

  • Develop a close relationship with your child.
  • Help them understand what peer pressure is and how to avoid it.
  • Plan regular family activities.
  • Encourage your child to form friendships with positive role models.

Other useful tips for parents:

  • Don’t judge your child’s friends.
  • Get to know all your child’s friends and their parents.
  • Teach your child to be assertive.
  • Encourage your child to have a wide variety of friends.
  • Provide discipline and structure.
  • Seek guidance from other parents.
  • Know the troubled children in your child’s age group (through other parents or teachers).
  • If you feel your child has given into peer pressure obtain professional help.

In retrospect there is something called positive peer pressure, for example when a bully follows a child who is friendly and stops bullying others. Encourage your child to be apart of the movement that inspires and transforms positive attitudes and positive living.

Resources
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