06 Jul Ways to help your child tackle Peer Pressure
As your child grows older, you begin to worry about the influence that peer groups have on his or her approach to life situations. It is true that friends and classmates play a big role in the child’s life, especially teenagers. Peer pressure could be either positive or negative. It is up to us to have a channel of communication with our children so as to know better on what might be happening in their lives.
A good example of positive peer pressure is when a group of children get together to study. Apart from sharing study material, it imbibes a sense of healthy competition, and this can help the child develop a positive outlook towards studying for an exam. The other benefits of peer pressure can be seen in helping children, especially teens, fit in and communicate better with peers.
Unfortunately, there is a different side to the picture, and many of the facts on peer pressure are not encouraging. According to the American Lung Association, 3.1 million teenagers smoke. Many more such peer pressure facts and statistics convey that the pressure on teenagers is a big concern, and parents need to have a plan on how to help a child deal with peer pressure.
- A strong sense of family support is important when dealing with negative peer pressure. It lets the child know that it is alright to refuse to take part in an activity he or she do not want to do.
- Having a candid talk with the child about our thoughts on usually taboo subjects like sex, smoking and drugs also helps to clarify the subject in the child’s mind, and may at least reduce the need to try something just “for the sake of it”.
- Know your child’s friends and try to limit anyone you think is a bad influence. Rather than forbidding your child to see someone, explain why you think the relationship is a bad idea.
It is important that our children understand how to draw out the positive aspects of peer pressure while knowing to combat the negative ones. We as parents can help them achieve this by being supportive and encouraging them to always keep the channels of communication open.
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