Peer pressure affects children of all ages. The majority of people believe peer pressure is harmful (involving stealing, smoking, taking drugs, drinking alcohol). Peer pressure can be beneficial. It could be the motivation your child needs to join a new school group, try a new activity, study harder, or go to college. Peer pressure, both good and evil, is very widespread. Your child aspires to be liked and to do what is good. At any age and stage, you may assist your child in dealing with peer pressure and making healthy decisions as a parent.
The desire to “fit in” and be accepted is a strong drive that can lead to improper and even deadly behaviour in children. Negative peer pressure resistance is a skill that must be developed.
Before peer pressure becomes an issue, parents may teach their children how to deal with it.
Assist Your Child Deal With Any Peer Pressure
The following pointers can assist your child in dealing with any peer pressure issues that may arise:
Prepare for the worst-case scenario
Discuss common age-appropriate scenarios that may occur. It could be excluding a classmate or teasing a less popular peer for younger children, or skipping class or attempting cigarettes or drugs for older youngsters. Discuss the potential implications of such behaviors, as well as why they could be appealing. Give detailed examples of common circumstances so that your youngster recognises them and is better equipped to respond. Role-playing is also beneficial.
Set Ground Rules for Your Family
If your family has established clear house rules, it will be easier for your youngster to follow them. Set some ground rules for your youngster, such as “in this household, we are kind to everyone.” If a family norm is to be polite to one another, agreeing to torment another classmate would clearly go against it. When the child refuses to give in to peer pressure, they can appeal to their family rule.
Discuss Successful Responses
Children who are unprepared to deal with peer pressure are more prone to react too fast and give in. With insightful comments, suggest ways for them to get out of an uncomfortable circumstance. They might be able to provide alternatives to the incorrect behaviour. If your child is requested to skip school, he or she can advise getting together right after school and inviting more friends. It is sometimes preferable for the youngster to refrain from explaining or justifying their refusal to engage, as this might lead to further pressure and argument. A child may need to just repeat an assertive and forceful “no” to peer reprimand when appropriate.
Make Relationships with Right People
Encourage your youngster to choose his or her companions carefully. They should seek out companions who possess attributes they respect and share comparable morals and ideals. It may be time to seek out new pals if a certain classmate frequently incites undesirable behaviour. However, avoid criticising a child’s pals on a personal level; instead, focus on their behaviour. According to the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, “peers play a crucial role in the social and emotional development of children and teenagers.” Their effect begins at a young age and grows throughout adolescence.
First, take deep breaths and think.
Remind children to pause for a moment before reacting to peer pressure. They will be able to deliver a more deliberate response if they take a deep breath and consider the ramifications before answering. They may be less likely to succumb to peer pressure if they allow themselves time to consider the consequences of the desired behaviour, such as hurting another child’s feelings, getting in trouble at school, or getting wounded. Assessing your child’s emotional intelligence and teaching them these skills may also be beneficial.
Discuss the Dangerous Behavior
When faced with the temptation to try drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol, knowing the facts will help adolescents make informed decisions. Don’t wait for your children to figure out the dangers on their own; instead, arm them with information and address the dangers of these substances. Keep in mind that parents’ expectations have an impact on their children’s behaviour. According to a recent study, “kids whose parents told them that underage drinking is utterly undesirable are 80 percent less likely to drink than those whose parents give their teens other drinking messages.”
A path to better health
Positive peer pressure is a good thing. It’s a positive thing if your youngster push toward something greater by another child. It might be beneficial to your child’s social or academic development. It might, for example, encourage your youngster to enter the school talent show or scientific fair.
Recognize the effects of negative peer pressure. Your youngster wants to fit in, doesn’t want to be teased or rejected, and doesn’t know how to get out of a difficult situation. Begin by preparing your small child for peer pressure at an early age. Tell children not to copy stupid or poor behaviour when they’re in preschool. Teach your child how to say “no” and walk away if a friend or classmate presses them to take something that doesn’t belong to them.
Talk to your child about smoking, drugs, and alcohol as he or she progresses through elementary school. Peers can persuade kids to skip school, drive without a licence (or ride with an underage driver), steal, vandalise property, and cheat. It’s never too early to begin planning. Give your youngster some suggestions for what to say when they are under duress. This will assist your child in escaping a difficult circumstance. Tell your child that if they need to get out of a dangerous circumstance, they can blame you. If your child can’t get out of a predicament on their own, give them a specific code word to say or text you. This will indicate that they require assistance.
Encourage your youngster to have a positive attitude about himself or herself. Celebrate their accomplishments and congratulate them when they make wise decisions. Negative peer pressure is less likely to affect children who feel good about themselves. Friendships are the same way. Negative peer pressure is less likely to affect children who have peers whose family match your views. Keep an eye on your child’s friendships (in-person and online). Even if your child is in high school and appears to be autonomous, don’t be hesitant to talk to other parents.
There may come a time when peer pressure causes your youngster to make a poor decision. Maintain your composure if this occurs. Discipline your child, but also recognise that this is an excellent time to teach your child about making decisions and having the strength to say no.