Peer pressure is something that every child, and even some adults, are faced with at some point during their lifetime. Young people tend to be more susceptible to it, as they want to impress their peers and “fit in”; they want to avoid rejection. As a parent, you have to trust that you have raised your child in such a way that they will avoid anything that might hurt them or get them into trouble. Of course, there are few things you can do to help them on the right path, as explored below by a senior school in Bath.
First of all, talk to your child about peer pressure; explain what it is and perhaps role play some examples of find a video on YouTube. Essentially, your child needs to be able to spot peer pressure as it’s happening, otherwise they will naively go alone with what their “friends” are doing. Talk to your child about what a true friend is by explaining that they would never force them to do something that makes them uncomfortable, might get them in serious trouble or might even harm them in some way. Real friends will accept no for an answer and will accept your child for who they are!
Help build up your child’s self-esteem so that they have the confidence to say no. You can do this by praising them when it counts and encouraging them to try new things/meet new people. For instance, you could suggest that they join an extra-curricular club where they will learn new skills and make new friends. An insecure, shy child will be more likely to give into peer pressure, so this is something to focus on throughout their childhood.
Try and form an open and honest relationship with your child so that they can come to you with any problems they might be facing at school. This means avoiding judgement and harsh punishment if your child does admit that they have done something that you might not approve of.
Knowing that they have your support will help them feel more confident. Plus, if you are harsh, they might not come to you again in the future. Instead, try and teach your child that poor choices lead to difficult consequences; every decision we make has either a positive or negative outcome and its best to avoid the negative.