Everyone is affected by peer – pressure. Peer influence begins when children are young, and increases as they grow older. It is natural and healthy for children to rely more on friends as they mature. Sometimes peer pressure can be innocent. But it can also cause kids to do poorly in school, tryout drugs or alcohol, or engage in sexual activities.
Here are some methods to implement:
- Help your child develop self-assurance. Students who feel virtuous about themselves are less likely to give in to pressure from others. Ask your child for their perception often. When parents show children that they value their opinions, children’s self-assurance develops. Help your child see that they are proficient of making good decisions for themselves. They will then be less liable to be blindly persuaded by peer pressure.
- Encourage your child to enroll in constructive activities. Activities like music, athletics, Scouts or other youth groups can boost your child’s self-esteem. Your child will be surrounded by students who share these positive interests. After-school activities can also inhabit the time your child that might otherwise be spend in negative pursuits.
- Listen to your child. Our aspiration is for our children are to make wise choices because they want to do the right thing. That means parents have to help children develop responsible attitudes about important issues. The best way is to spend time talking with children about imperative subjects. If you watch a television program that deals with peer pressure, talk about it later with your child. You might enquire, “What would you have done in that scenario?” Your openness to listen—and not just lecture—will show your child that you respect and value their opinions and ideas.
- Encourage your child to recommend other things to do. If a friend is proposing alcohol or drugs, it’s hard to say no. As an alternative, your child can make other suggestions. “Let’s go to the theater.” “Why don’t we ride our bikes to the park?”
- Teach your child to anticipate situations that may lead to trouble. An invitation to a place that will have no parental supervision, or hanging around students who use drugs can lead to “sticky” situations. Phrases like “We won’t get into any trouble” or “Everybody else is doing it” should be a tip-off that this may be circumstances to avoid.