Most of us will agree and remember at least one such incident. Maybe we regretted it later but, in those pressure moments, we fell for it. We were unable to deal with peer pressure and couldn’t say ‘NO’.
They have a fear of losing their friends. This peer pressure can force them to drink, smoke or even bully others.
The fear of losing friends or fear of being disallowed in a group takes over their mind. You may hear them saying that they are ‘left out’ when they do not ‘DO’ some particular things.
Before we move into the six tips, we would like to share with you the difference Between Peer Pressure and Peer Influence
Attending a book reading club, because friends asked you to do so, is peer influence. It is about doing positive things or activities because of the influence of peers.
Doing any negative activity and doing so against one’s will, can be considered as peer pressure. When a child realizes this difference, they will choose the right path.
The first thing that you should do is to strike a conversation with him. Understand what he is going through. Help them open up but without using harsh words. If your child is sharing an experience of being pressurized, do not overreact. Avoid judging your child. Any negative reaction increases their nervousness.
When you stay calm, they believe, you can help them deal with peer pressure.
Let your children know that the friend who is pressuring them to do ‘unsavory’ things against their will, can’t actually be called as ‘friend’. Inspire them to stay away from people who force them to do illegal, harmful or dangerous things.
Saying no to something or someone can be a little complicated. Children are sensitive about the opinion of their peer groups. They think, saying NO will exclude them from their peers. In such cases, saying ‘NO’ firmly but with respect has chances of working.
For example, someone forces your child to drink, teach him to say, “NO I am not interested, thank you”. Similarly, teach them to respect when others say ‘NO’ to their offerings.
Parents must teach this to children. Let them know that true friend will respect them taking this stand.
To deal with peer pressure, children must have decision making power. Thinking independently can be a key for this.
Unfortunately, peer pressure is very common, especially among teenagers. They are exposed to a new world when they enter higher education level. Deciding on what is wrong and right can make or break their lives. They need to understand that it is not about “following the crowd,” but it is more about “doing what is right”. This is not easy but always respectable.
This is a simple yet brilliant activity that you can do at home to train your child to deal with peer pressure. Run them through various scenarios where they are pressurized.
For instance: Your child is a vegetarian. Play the role of a friend who is forcing your child to eat non-vegetarian food.
Guide your child to what he can say in such a situation. How to say a NO here?
Children remember actions more than the words. Hence, role-playing can be one of the most influential ways to train them.
High self-esteem is a key for the better emotional health of the children.
Some Dos and Don’ts for higher self-esteem in children are…
High self-esteem boosts independent thinking and decision-making power of the children. We know it is ultimately about knowing right from wrong.
Peer pressure is a common thing. Chances are that our children will face it. Educating children about it will be greatly beneficial to them.