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7 ways to help your child deal with peer pressure

Saying "No" to friends can be hard. Here's how to make it easier. 

 Great Schools Staff 

As kids get older, peer pressure can get in the way of how well they do in school.

Why? By the time they turn seven, children start caring more and more about what other kids think of them — and less about what their parents or other adults think.

Kids who want to get approval from their peers and become more popular will often take part in risky behavior like cheating in class, shoplifting, tagging, drugs, alcohol, and sex — all which can send them on a downward spiral and take them away from focusing on their education.

Here are six other ways to help your child resist peer pressure and stay on the right path:

1. Don’t overreact

When your child talks with you about what friends are doing, you may hear things that upset you. But if you overreact or lecture, your child won’t want to bring these issues up again. Stay as calm as you can, without yelling, blaming, of lecturing. Instead, use these moments to get your child thinking about the consequences of risky behavior: “I wonder if your friend realizes she could be arrested for shoplifting?”

2. Talk about what makes a true friend.

Help your child understand that a friend who is pressuring him to do something dangerous, hurtful, or illegal is not much of a friend.

3. Get to know your child’s friends.

Encourage your child to invite friends home. Having his peers around will help you decide whether they are good or bad influences.

4. Talk about what independence really means.

At this age, your child wants more independence. Point out that if this is a goal of his, he shouldn’t let other kids decide what she should be doing — that’s not independence!

5. Role play peer pressure.

Ask your child what he wishes he could say to his friends if he didn’t have to worry about what they’d say if he said “No.” Then suggest ways he can say it. Keep your advice short and to the point. Remind him it’s easiest to stick with simple things that he can say comfortably. "Sorry that's not me. Not going to do it."

6. Model saying “No”.

When your child hears you setting limits clearly, firmly, and without a lot of explanation, this helps him see that it’s OK to do the same. When you say, “No, that’s not okay with me,” you’re giving your child the same language he can say when someone tries to talk him into doing something he shouldn’t.

7. Get you child in a positive group.

Church and scouts are great. So are Martial Arts.   Martial Arts are "cool", they instill confidence and they teach kids to fight and stand up for themselves.  "Some times saying "no" isn't enough for bullies and peers. You must stand up for your self even if you have to stand up alone.  All kids should take at least 1 year of martial arts for confidence, fun and fitness."  

-Author--Grand Master Greg Silva Black Belt Schools International.   

Please join us Saturday, August 27   at 11:15 am  for a free community event. "Fear Not" - a beginning workshop for kids ages 6 - 11.  Pre-registration is strongly advised!



09/11/2016 3:48pm


07/02/2017 10:31pm

Peer pressure is one of the many things a teenage will face while growing up. If a certain teenager will be tempted, it depends upon how they were raised by their parents. That's why a good parenting is important because it will play a very important role in their lives while growing up. Personally, I've been in this stage, but I just stick with my views and principles that's why I am proud to say I was not a victim of this matter.

Peer pressure is a very real issue that affects many of the teenagers of the world today. Society offers many misleading advertisements that seem to lead teens in all the wrong directions. There may be positive and negative effects to peer pressure. If good grades are an influence to you and your friends that is positive peer pressure. On the other hand if the group thinks that it is cool to steal and you steal to fit into the group that is negative peer pressure. Growing up involves many changes. Trying to figure out who you are and where you belong may cause an enormous amount of stress.

09/19/2016 1:18am

Peer pressure is one of those things often associated with teenagers. Peer pressure is often used as the reason or excuse for why good kids do stupid things. Even though we have known about peer pressure for generations it seems we are still learning exactly why it is so powerful during adolescence as opposed to other periods of life. Teenager’s peers matter a great deal. Adults who care about teenagers do well to take friendships among teens seriously, make an effort to know who their friends are, and encourage those relationships that are positive and healthy for the teenager.

01/04/2017 7:14am

I think it is all depend on a good parenting! If you stay in a close connection with your kids you can affect on them more effectively.

06/07/2017 6:46am

Let your children experience some 'no's in their life and that will make them stronger and capable to handle pressures and rejections in their life. Never give your children whatever they demand to you. Help them realize the real world.

06/15/2017 6:48am

Today, most of the teenage children are under pressure due to different kinds of issues. The cause may be started from school, family, friends, etc… Parents should take necessary observations and find if children undergoing any issues.

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