Parents can play a vital role in helping teenagers deal with peer pressure. Read on to find tips for helping your child to cope with peer pressure.
Dealing with peer pressure starts by accepting that it is a reality of life that cannot be hushed under the carpet or be overlooked. For a child who is growing up and is just making his first hand contact with the outside world, it is very important for him to feel close to his peer group.
A child spends most of his waking hours in the company of his peers and not his family. Therefore, it is natural that he will value their comments and opinions to a great extent. During the adolescent period there is this desire to fit into a group and be accepted as a part of it. In this attempt the child imbibes the group’s attitude and ideologies even if they are contrary to his family values.
How to Deal with Peer Pressure
Given below are a few tips on how you can help your child deal with peer pressure:
Be a Friend and Be Democratic in Your Approach
Explain the fact to your kid that you understand how important it is for him to belong to a peer group. Say that companionship is a social mechanism and one should always be an active participant in this process. This will make the kid comfortable in discussing all his peer issues with you.
Kids rely more on peer groups when they feel isolated from their families. It is a psychological fact that during the adolescent period, all the kids find friendship appealing and not an autocratic parent heaving down constantly at all his activities. So adapt yourself with this change in expectations and become a friend to your kid.
Discuss Before You Set Limitations
Limitations are important to maintain discipline. But before you set down certain rules make it a point that you sit down with your kid. Tell him how it is important to maintain a disciplined life and how a set of positive rules can render a good impact on his academic and social being and help him career wise, health wise and even emotionally.
Kids are much more mature than what parents consider them to be. You will be surprised to find that they can readily understand your positive intent and will be ready to comply with the set of rules. But if try to impose authority, there are chances that it will backfire. Adolescents do not like to be dictated and it is a natural reverse action for them when they feel that it is best to retaliate by breaking rules.
Teach The Importance of Values Through Practice
Values act as a protective shield against negative peer pressure and the most effective way to deal with it is by practicing what you are promoting. Even as your kid grows up into a teen, he or she is still observing your actions and taking cue from them. When they observe that you are leading a life of positive values and not compromising them under any circumstances they will gradually learn the importance of upholding values. Explain how positive role models are important in life.
Bolster His Self Confidence
Rejection by the peer group can cause a deep dent in the self-confidence of your child. While dealing with peer pressure it is important to ensure that the child has enough self-confidence in himself. Praise him for all his achievements and do not be humiliating towards his failures. Rather egg him on and say that you have confidence in his abilities. Help him take decisions, do not intervene or pass judgments on minor matters. The more he is assured of your support the more he will develop the strength to deal with negative peer pressure.
Parents can play an important role to help children deal with negative peer pressure. At the same time it is essential for parents to follow what they preach.