Negative peer pressure is something that most, if not all, of us, will have experienced at some point in our lives and may well experience again in the future. For children who want to fit in and be accepted by their school friends, it can be easy to feel pressured into doing something that doesn’t feel quite right. However, resisting peer pressure is something that must be learnt, as it isn’t always a natural instinct. With that said, you should try and look for ways to teach your child how to avoid peer pressure. Here are some tips from a secondary school in Somerset.
Talk About Peer Pressure:
Your child will find it easier to recognise when they are being pressured into something if they know what peer pressure actually is. So, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Share some examples of peer pressure, perhaps even things that have happened to you over the years and what happened as a result. If you spot it happening in a film or TV show, point it out to your child. The idea is to help them prepare for various situations so that they feel more confident with their response.
Discuss Your Family Values Regularly:
Try and help your child understand what will and will not be tolerated in your family by setting clear rules and discussing your values on a regular basis. For example, if never stealing is a clear family rule, your child is less likely to shoplift to please a classmate. If kindness is something you value, they will be less likely to tease someone at school just because other people are doing it. You should also talk about what the consequences would be if certain situations might arise, or if any of your family rules are broken.
Talk About Individuality:
Teach your child that everyone is unique, and they should value their individuality. Doing something they don’t like just to please someone else is not cool or admirable but being unique is. If your child is comfortable with their individualism, they will be less likely to do things they’re not happy to do just to fit in.
Teach Them About True Friends:
Ask your child what they think makes a true friend. Do they think that a true friend would force them to do something dangerous or something that could get them into trouble? The answer should be no. Encourage your child to invite their friends over so that you can meet them and decide if they are a positive influence or not. However, you should avoid saying things like “that boy is going to get you into trouble” because this suggests that you don’t have faith in your child and will set them up to fail.
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