Teaching Your Child to Resist Peer Pressure

This is a collaborative post

All parents worry about peer pressure when their children reach school age. Peer pressure is when your child feels like they have to do something just because their group of friends are doing it, or when others try to influence their decisions or actions.

We all understand the desire to be included and ‘fit in’ and this is especially important for children because they want to feel popular at school. Many children fear that they will be excluded or bullied for not being like their friends.

To help your child avoid peer pressure and feel confident to stand up for themselves, here is some great advice from an independent school in Somerset

Role play

To help your child combat peer pressure, they will need to be able to notice when it is happening. Talk to your child about possible situations where they might experience peer pressure and role play some examples. Teach your child to be sensible and confident in their decision making and reassure them that they can always talk to you if someone is making them feel uncomfortable.

Say NO

It is important that your child feels confident enough to say ‘no’ when something feels wrong. It can be extremely hard for your child to say no to their friends, but it is important to explain that true friends will not pressure them to do something they are unhappy to do. You could teach your child to offer an alternative suggestion in response to peer pressure. For example if they feel that an activity is unsafe, they could try suggesting another fun option.

Friendships

Get to know your child’s friends by offering them an invitation to your home. Spend time getting to know your child’s friends and their families. If your child seems reluctant for you to meet a certain school friend, you could always ask their teacher for advice. They will be able to keep an eye on your child and look out for any signs of bullying. It can also help to encourage extra-curricular activities, as this will allow your child to form many social circles. Having friends in different settings will reduce the stress of trying to fit in with just one group.

Self-love

Finally, teach your child to be proud of their individuality and to be accepting of others. This will help them to feel less worried by peer pressure. Peer pressure works by making an individual feel wrong or unaccepted for not following along. Explain to your child that we do not all need to be the same, or do the same things in order to fit in.

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