Peer pressure is easily one of the biggest issues that children face today. Teens might feel tempted to experiment with drugs and alcohol because their friends do, and younger children can feel pressured in to doing things they don’t want to do. As a parent, it’s important that you know how to talk with your kids about this problem and make them feel more confident.
Do What You Say
How can you tell your kids that they shouldn’t drink or smoke, when you have a few cold beers while watching a game or have a post-dinner cigarette? Kids look up to their parents and they want to do what they see adults doing. Being a good example and not doing certain activities is the best way to combat peer pressure.
Give Them an Out
Let your children know that they can always use you as an excuse or an out when it comes to their friends pressuring them to try new activities and do new things. Even if you aren’t physically in the room, they can tell their friends the punishments you would dole out if you found out what they did. Just knowing that a potential punishment exists can make some kids think twice before bowing to peer pressure.
Talk with Their Friends
Good parents know their children’s friends as well as they know their own friends. Something as simple as listening to the kids talk when you drive them to the mall can give you some idea about what they talk about and what they do. This can help you see if there is a bad influence in the group and let you talk with your child about the influence that child has. The more you know about their activities, the more you can keep an eye out for problems.
Monitor Their Activities
Gregory Rod, an Edmonton based criminal lawyer, recommends that you monitor your child’s activities. You need to let your child know what is and isn’t appropriate, including the friends he or she has online and the activities they take part in after school. When you find something inappropriate, you can step up and let your child know that behavior or activity isn’t okay.
Improve Their Self-Esteem
Children with high self-esteem experience fewer issues with peer pressure than those with poor self-confidence do. Encouraging your child to take part in certain activities, celebrating the high grades they receive in school and spending some one on one time with your child can improve his or her self-confidence and make your child feel stronger about saying no to a friend. Parents who want to help kids dealing with peer pressure should above all else let their children know that they can turn to them at any time.