Encouraging Your Child to Resist Peer Pressure

Encouraging Your Child to Resist Peer Pressure 

Peer groups can have so much influence because belonging to a group really does offer something significant to a child or a young person. While most people associate peer pressure with teenagers there is a whole other side to peer pressure that is often overlooked: peer pressure among children. Even at 9 years old I find Tilly is influenced by her friends and wants to do the same things as them and have the same things as them too. 
Peer pressure is something that most children will face at some point during their school life. It is when someone else influences your child’s day to day decisions or actions – be it a group of friends, someone in their class or a gang of pupils at lunchtime. This can lead to all sorts of troublesome situations and problems that are not pleasant to face as a parent. So how can we teach our kids to resist peer pressure from a young age? 

Surbiton High – an Independent School Kingston upon Thames, has put together the following advice to help us encourage our children to resist peer pressure.

Develop their confidence

It is important to teach your child to have the confidence to say ‘no’ when something makes them feel uncomfortable. It can be very easy to be influenced by the opinions of their friends or peers so make sure your little one knows how to stand up against the general consensus when needed. You need to teach them that is it okay to say no and that it doesn't make them any less of a person if they do.

Invite their friends over

Make the time to get to know your child’s friends and encourage playdates in your home. This way you can both develop relationships as well as listen from afar to get more of an idea of the dynamic of the friendship. Spend time talking to your child about their relationships at school and if you have any concerns you can always ask their teacher for advice.

Communication is key!

The most important thing is to make sure your child knows that they can come to you with anything at any time. They might have already been in certain situations when they have felt uncomfortable or acted in a way they wouldn’t have, have discussions and listen carefully to everything they tell you. If they don't feel comfortable coming to you, then make sure there is someone they can turn to if they feel they are being pressured by 'friends' at school. 

Tell them they can say no, and they can walk away

They have the right to say no and walk away from any situation that they feel uncomfortable in. This is probably easier said than done, but it is a bigger person who walks away from something that doesn't feel right to them. Saying no, doesn't make them weak or less of a friend. Your child has a voice of her own and we can encourage her to use it to stand up for herself if a situation arises where she is uncomfortable

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