Sunday, March 25, 2018

5 Tips on How to Handle Peer Pressure

Peer pressure doesn’t go away.  Kids often go along with their peers, and it can be normal for parents to take their children's behavior personally.  It may be troubling, but try to remember that kids are trying to establish their own identity.

Whether your child is a popular kid in school or is someone who has a handful of friends, peer pressure can influence and push him or her to do unsafe or unhealthy things. Children need a parent's support to help them make good decisions. 

Here are some helpful tips for parents

Praise your child. Take time to celebrate his or her achievements. Children who feel good about themselves are more able to resist negative peer pressure and make better choices.

Get to know their friends. Invite your children's friends over play dates or for study time. Get to know them. If your children have friends with good values and good self-esteem, they can help your kids avoid risky behavior, navigate new technology, and resist unwanted peer pressure.

Create a special code. Have a plan children can implement in uncomfortable situations.  For example, if they don't feel at ease at a party, children can call or text you with an agreed-upon phrase like, "Dad, I'm feeling sick.  Can you come get me?"

Take the blame. Let your kids know that if they face peer pressure they don't know how to resist, they can refuse by blaming you: "I'll get in trouble if I do that. My mom and dad would ground me." 

Stay informed. Pay attention to what interests kids, the way they dress, and the social media they are using. The more you know, the better you can protect your kids and help them learn to make good decisions.

Make every effort to stay in your child’s life.  Plan family activities that include them.  Talk to them about their friends, interests, music, and accomplishments.  Ask them about the things that bother them.  Let them know you care, but make it clear there are rules they need to follow. 

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