Children of all ages experience some form of pressure. In most cases, people think peer pressure is bad, but can also be positive. It can be pressure from peers for your child to join a new school, study for better grades, try a new sport, and attend college among others. Good and bad peer pressures are common. All you need is to guide your child to deal with each type of pressure.
The following strategies will help your child to handle peer pressure in a more effective manner.
Prepare for possible solutions
You need to discuss typical age-appropriate instances that have a likelihood of arising. For young children, an example could be excluding a classmate or even teasing a less popular peer. For the older kids, it could be failing to attend to classes or trying drugs. You need to discuss the possible consequences of such actions so that your child is better prepared to handle these situations effectively.
Set Family Rules
If your family has set clear household rules, it will be easier for your child to avoid breaking them. You need to provide your child with some ground rules such as – in this family, we are kind to everyone. All the children must thus try all they can to ensure that they follow all the house rules. The child can, therefore, refer to family rules when subjected to some form of peer pressure.
Discuss effective responses
If a child is unprepared to respond to peer pressure, they are more likely to react more quickly and give in. You need to recommend ways for them to get out of such situations that make them feel uneasy. They need to be able to suggest alternatives that help them avoid inappropriate behavior. Sometimes, it would be best to teach your child to avoid explaining it justifying their refusal to participate in something.
Choose the right friends
You need to encourage your child to be selective when choosing their friends. They should look for friends who have the qualities they admire. They should be friends who have similar values and ethics. If there is a particular friend who incites bad behavior, they need to seek other friends. You should, however, be careful not to criticize a child’s friend, but rather work to find out what inspires their behavior.
Talk about dangerous behavior
If you know the facts about drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol, you can be better placed to make informed decisions when counseling your child about these substances. You should not wait for your child to discover the dangers on their own, but rather present them with facts that discuss the hazards of these substances. You need to understand that the expectations of a parent influence the behavior of their children.
You need to understand that adults are not immune to peer pressure too. Many have made a lot of poor life choices as a result of peer pressure, with some of the choices having a lasting consequence. You need to take the necessary steps to help your child deal with negative peer issues that may pose a risk to their lives.