How to Teach Your Kids About Peer Pressure
There are many different approaches to which a parent can tackle peer pressure. A parent can teach their kids by walking away, changing the subject, telling an adult, even teaching them though it takes a big person to confront an enemy but it takes an even bigger person to stand up to a friend and tell them that they are wrong.
Although walking away is easier said than done, it can be done. In some cases it may be the only option left and will always be a better option than putting themselves in a bad or dangerous situation. Some may think that if you walk away then you are leaving or losing a friend however if they choose to walk away often times they will find a true friend will decide to walk away with them instead of both taking a bad route. Remember it is better to walk away and miss a little than to go along and lose it all.
Another basic approach is to simply change the subject. For instance if a peer is urging your child to cut class, they could change the subject instantly to “I cant wait for football in P.E today” or “Did you see that show last night?” If you use this approach early on it will often work or at least buy enough time to allow something new to arise. A lot of disruptive teens have a relatively short attention span and doesn’t take much to derail a negative thought.
We all know that telling on someone can be the hard to do, especially when the person is your friend. However if the situation escalates too far this could be the only answer to prevent something real serious. In an instance where one friend asks another to try drugs it would be extremely valuable to tell an adult. In some cases it only takes one time to end a persons life. When it comes to peer pressure that could put one or more people in danger, it is best always to inform the nearest adult.
If peer pressure has already put your child or their friends in danger in the past, then it is important to teach them it is better to confront the friend and possibly save them, rather than walk away and let it continue. It is hard to stand up to an enemy or bully but it is even harder to stand up to a friend. Likewise, you receive gratification from confronting a bully and stopping them, how much greater is the gratification you will receive from confronting a friend and helping them make the right decision?
It is important to discuss sticky situations with our children that our kids might encounter. Though these may seem like hard things to talk about, letting them know that doing the right thing no matter what it takes will always benefit them. No matter what comes up, they can take easy steps like following their instincts, changing the subject or walking away. However if they must tell an adult or bicker with a friend, doing the right thing will always make things as good as they can be.