Kids and Peer Pressure, Dealing with Peer Pressure - FamilyEducation

5 Ways to Talk to Your Kids About Peer Pressure

by Rebecca Desfosse

When you're a kid, saying no to friends isn't easy - even if their pals are asking something that goes against their own morals. Use these five tips to help your child deal with peer pressure, and find out why sometimes it might actually be a good thing.

Happy Friends Peer Pressure

As kids reach elementary school age, they become more and more susceptible to peer pressure. Peer pressure comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from others pressuring your child to drink or do drugs to encouraging them to give it their all in a team sport. Here's how to help your kid deal and why it can sometimes be a good thing:

Talk to Them About What It Means to be a Good Friend

Dad and Son Talking About Peer Pressure

Photo source: Flickr

Talk to your child about friendship. What qualities make a great friend? Being supportive, understanding, and encouraging are all attributes of a good friend. Someone who pressures you into doing something you don't want to do or act a certain way isn't an example of a good friend.

Role Play Peer Pressure

Ask your child to come up with different examples of peer pressure and brainstorm ways he can say "No." Suggest naming the reason why the action isn't a good idea, such as "that's dangerous" or "that's against the rules." Or, he could suggest another activity to do, and say something along the lines of "No, let's play this brand new video game instead."

Practice Walking Away

Sometimes, your child won't be able to distract a determined peer. In this case, he needs to be comfortable walking away. Once again, role play to have your child practice this action. Your child can say, "Ok, well I'm going to play this video game. You can join me if you want," and then leave the situation.

Get to Know Your Child's Friends

Smiling Young Girls

Photo source: Flickr

Getting to know your child's friends can give you the one-up on any sticky situations that may arise. Encourage your child to invite his friends to his house rather than playing elsewhere. When you host play dates at your own home, you can keep an eye out for any kids who might have a negative influence on your child and nip problems in the bud.

Harness the Positive Power of Peer Pressure

Good Peer Pressure Playing Sports

Photo source: Flickr

Try to encourage your child to surround himself with friends who will have a positive influence on him. Friends who will encourage him to do well in school or push him to do his best in sports can actually have a positive impact in his life. You can also encourage your own child to be a positive influence in the lives of others.

Teaching your kids how to deal with peer pressure can help them combat being persuaded into doing something they don't want to do. However, remember that it can go both ways and can actually have a positive impact on your child.