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How To Deal With Peer Pressure

By Author: Sagar International School
Total Articles: 4

Here are a few ways that how you, as a parent, can help your child deal with peer pressure:

1) Don’t Overreact
2) Invite Friends Over
3) Set Family Rules
4) Have a Heart-To-Heart Talk
5) Teach Them Effective Responses
6) Agree on a Bailout Phrase

1) Don’t Overreact
When your child talks to you about school and what his or her friends are doing, you may hear some upsetting things. At such times it is important not to yell, blame, or lecture your child. Instead, stay calm and don’t jump to conclusions. Try to get your child to think about the consequences of risky behavior by asking questions such as, “I wonder if your friend realizes that she could get arrested for underage drinking.”

2) Invite Friends Over
Ask your child to call friends over for lunch, dinner or a sleepover. Use the time getting to know his or her peers and whether or not they’re a good influence on your child. If you feel that they have a negative influence on your child, you know you need to talk to your child about it soon. However, be sure to choose the right time and the right words while doing so. Be very sensitive about your child’s feelings towards his or her friends.

3) Set Family Rules
Set certain family rules and imbibe them in your child. Household rules such as “in this family, we are all kind to each other” teaches your child about kindness and how being mean or rude is not appreciated by anybody. So, the child will not succumb to peer pressure about teasing a fellow classmate. Other examples of setting family rules are – “we don’t hurt each other”, “we always tell the truth”, “we stand up for each other”, etc.

4) Have a Heart-To-Heart Talk
Sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with your child. Help your child understand about what makes a true friend. For instance, someone who makes you feel good about yourself, supports and encourages you to make good choices and helps you in times of need is a good friend whereas someone who deliberately tries to involve you in hurtful, dangerous and illegal activities is not a good friend. Encourage your child to evaluate his or her friends and consciously choose a friend circle that doesn’t make him or her feel bad about anything.

5) Teach Them Effective Responses
If your child is not prepared for how to respond to peer pressure, it’s likely that he or she will react too quickly and give in to the pressure. Certain strategies you can discuss with your child are mentioned below –
• Stop and Think – Teach your child to take a moment to stop and think before responding to peer pressure.
• Say No – Tell your child ‘no’. When you clearly set limits and use sentences like “No, I am not okay with that”, you are teaching your child the vocabulary and the notion that even he or she can use such sentences with peers. You can also teach your child to become more assertive by helping him or her practice saying ‘no’ and thinking of some casual reasons to go along with it.
• Walk Away – Walking away from a situation is the only solution if your child finds that his or her friends are determined to do something risky or mean. However, it is important that your child learns how to walk away correctly. Shouting will only lead to a fight between friends. Instead, teach your child to think creatively and say things like “OK, I’m going home to play video games
• Provide Another Option – Instead of blatantly saying no to friends, your child can offer another option instead, such as “Why don’t we go to the cinema and watch xyz movie instead? I heard it’s amazing!” or “I heard xyz restaurant serves the best pizza around here. Wanna go check it out?”
• Use Humors – If your child is naturally witty and humorous, suggest making jokes in high pressure situations in order to deflect the conversation without offending anyone. This will not only help change the topic and prevent your child from having to say no clearly, but will also help keep conversations light-hearted.
• Listen to The Gut – Tell your child to listen to his or her natural instinct or gut feeling. Even if everyone else seems okay with what’s going on, it means something about the situation is not right for your child and that he or she needs to walk away from the situation immediately.
• Use Confrontation – Encourage your child to have an honest and direct conversation with the person or people who are trying to pressurize him or her. It’s a good idea to rehearse exactly what your child will be saying and to choose the right time and place to do so.
6) Agree on a Bailout Phrase
Agree with your child on a bailout phrase to use incase the situation becomes too difficult to come out of. One could be your child calling you up and saying – “Hey mom, can you pick me up? I have a terrible headache” another could be- “Oh no! I completely forgot about that. I’m on my way.”
Peer pressure is not a phenomenon that only affects children and teens. Even adults are subjected to it from time to time and end up making poor life choices if they were not able to resist it. That is why, it is necessary to teach our children the right tactics to dealing with peer pressure from a very early age so that they can grow up to become mature, responsible and assertive adults.

So, encourage your child to come and talk to you every time peer pressure got the best of him or her and encourage your child to also tell you whenever he or she made an active choice against succumbing to peer pressure. Acknowledge and reward your child for telling you the truth and also for making a healthy choice.

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