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Saturday, 10 April 2021

Teaching your Child to Resist Peer Pressure

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As a parent, one of your main points of concerns with your child growing up is the peer pressure they might face as they make friends and socialise. Peer pressure is when someone is made to feel like they have to do something by their friends, despite the fact it might make them uncomfortable or that it may be something they do not want to do.  

Most kids will go through experiences like this, make friends, and learn lessons from those experiences, but you can help them when it comes to preparing them for dealing with peer pressure, whenever they might face it. With the collaboration of a Private Secondary School in Dublin, here are some points on how to help your children resist peer pressure. 


Help Define The Difference Between Pressure & Influence 


First of all it is important to recognise the difference between pressure and influence. Peer influence is quite different from peer pressure. Peer influence is when a friend is encouraging you to do something positive, whereas peer pressure is more a case of when your friend is pressuring you to do something you know is wrong, or is something you are not comfortable doing.


Helping kids to identify the difference between that pressure and more positive influence through role play and example. This is important because peer influence can actually be a great way for kids to learn and try new things with the support of their friends, whereas peer pressure is definitely not something kids should be pushed into accepting.


Teach Them To Say No 

I am a big believer in teaching kids to say no and to learn how to set their own boundaries. Part of the issue with a lot of peer pressure situations is that your child may not feel confident enough to simply tell someone no. Instead kids often feel inclined to just go along with something to make other people happy. But if we teach them that it is ok to say no when something feels uneasy, and encourage them to express themselves whenever they feel unsure about something.

By doing this we can help them feel more confident in setting their own boundaries and saying no. That way, if they practice this behaviour with you, they will feel more confident behaving this way in front of their friends and have the confidence to stand up for themselves when needed.

Discuss Friendships 

Whilst as a parent you cannot choose the friends your child has, you have a lot of wisdom when it comes to friendships. You’ve likely experienced moments of peer pressure yourself and changing relationships amongst your friends over time. Share your experiences with your children, and demonstrate to them that friendships and social circles can change dramatically, particularly when you’re younger.

You should also get to know their friends and even try to introduce yourself to your child's friends parents as well. If you’ve got a better idea of the type of people they’re hanging out with, you will have a better idea of who is a better influence on your child. Also if you are on talking terms with their friends parents you can hopefully discuss any issues mutually and help your kids if needed.

Teach Self-Love 

Self love is such a hugely important thing we should all be teaching our children and it is often something we as parents need to learn too. You can help to build up your child’s self-esteem by being very supportive and encouraging of their interests and passions and allowing them time and space to express themselves. Teaching your children to love their individuality and the differences found in everyone will mean they feel less pressure to act differently and be who someone else wants them to be. 

How do you help your children resist peer pressure? If you have any advice or tips please do share them below.

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**This is a collaborative post.**

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