Helping your child deal with peer pressure

by drlazarus on October 20, 2015

Peer pressure can have a major impact on your child. There are two types of peer pressure: positive peer pressure and negative peer pressure. If your child is surrounded by good kids, for example kids that have a strong work ethic and want to do well in school, this can help your child to develop positive traits. On the other hand, when your child is around others who are trying to make your child conform and do things that they would not do if not pressured this is a form of negative peer pressure. Negative peer pressure can result in your child making poor decisions academically, with their health, and socially.

 

Parents can have a major impact in supporting your child when they deal with peer pressure. Parents need to help their child to stand out in a positive way and make good decisions, even in difficult situations.

 

Being like everyone else

 

From about the age of eight, many children want to be liked by everyone. It is normal for them to want to fit in. This is accomplished by having similar interests as their peers, dressing the same, and liking the same computer games and music. As kids get older, fitting in and identifying with a group of peers is very important. Negative peer pressure can lead to your child thinking that they are overweight, ugly, too smart, not good enough, the worst student, and would only be able to fit in if…

 

Parents worst fears

 

The parent’s worst fear is that their child will be exposed to bullying when they are young. As the child moves toward their teen years, parents are concerned about drugs and alcohol, being a good student, and making good choices regarding friends. Some parents are even worried that their child may have the same bad experiences they had growing up. Parents want their child to be safe at school and in their neighborhoods. They want to surround their child with positive mentors and supportive teachers. Parents also worry that their child won’t talk to them if they have problems and concerns.

 

Being there for your child

 

One of the best ways to protect your child from peer pressure is to make sure you are a consistent presence in their life. Being there for your child will allow them to feel safe and secure as they develop their own identity and take in the positive values you are trying to instill in them. Surrounding your child with other positive adults can also provide protection against peer pressure. When your child feels safe and supported, they are able to develop a strong sense of self separate from others. They are better equipped to be able to deal with negative peer pressure.

 

Self-confidence

 

One of the ways to help your child resist peer pressure is to help them develop self-confidence. Being positive and supportive of them as they have successes allows them to feel good about who they are. When your child struggles at school or in sports, helping them work through that struggle and be successful builds self-confidence. Providing them with resources and tools to be successful is extremely important. It is okay to allow your child to fail at something because this allows them to learn from their mistake. They can then correct their error and have success the second time. As a child develops better self-confidence, they develop more strength to resist peer pressure and feel confident about who they are and what they believe. They don’t need the approval of others in order to feel confident.

 

Unique personal interests

 

In order to help your child develop self-confidence, giving your child opportunities to explore other interests can build a child’s confidence, intellectual ability, creativity, and physical abilities. This provides your child with the opportunity to explore a variety of areas and develop a unique sense of self. Some kids find they are good at particular sports, while others find their passion in theater or the arts. Finding activities that they enjoy allows your child to not need to fit in but develop an important part of their personality.

 

In conclusion, unfortunately peer pressure will be a part of your child’s world. By being an active and involved parent and allowing your child opportunities to grow and develop, you are helping your child develop a positive self-image and are strengthening their ability to resist negative peer pressure. When your child encounters peer pressure, talking about it with them allows them to develop tools to make good decisions that are in line with their values. This helps them develop the tools necessary to resist negative peer pressure in the future.

 

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