Simple Ways to Teach Kids to Deal with Peer Pressure

No matter what age your kids may be, they will undoubtedly be subjected to some sort of peer pressure at one time or another.

The level of seriousness may shift or change over time, but in general, it’s a fairly inevitable problem.

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Nevertheless, if you teach your kids how to deal with it from an early age, they will be better prepared to handle those challenges.

With that in mind, the following is a short guide to help you do just that.

This article will help you understand what peer pressure is and how can you teach your kids to deal with peer pressure.

What is Peer Pressure?

Before we delve into the methods of combating peer pressure, let’s first take the time to define what it actually is.

Peer pressure is when someone feels compelled by the people in their social circle or age group to act in a way that can be problematic or detrimental. lists six types of peer pressure:

Spoken Peer Pressure

This type of peer pressure happens when a child is pressured — by asking, suggesting, or otherwise coercing — to do something.

This can happen on a one-on-one basis or in groups. Within a group, the victim usually finds it harder to stand their ground.

Suggestive Peer Pressure

Rather than saying it directly, suggestive peer pressure involves exposing the child to a particular behavior in hopes that they will choose to join in.

It could involve dressing in a certain way or joining a certain group.

Direct Peer Pressure

This can involve words or actions and involves putting the child or teen on the spot to force them to make a split-second decision, such as taking a drink of beer or smoking a cigarette.

Indirect Peer Pressure

This type of peer pressure involves coercing a child into doing something by sharing information that can compel them to act in a way that they otherwise would not.

It could be that the so-called cool kids are drinking alcohol, so the pressured youth feels like they should also partake to fit in.

Negative Peer Pressure

This type of peer pressure involves asking a child to engage in behaviors that directly conflict with their morals or upbringing or comfort zone.

Children or teens with more dominant personalities may force others to follow them; to do otherwise risks being scorned or ignored. 

Positive Peer Pressure

Although peer pressure is typically negative, kids can also be pressured to do things that are positive which can have a good impact on their lives.

How to Teach Kids to Deal with Peer Pressure

If you’re someone who finds his /her kid dealing with peer pressure, here ar some of the best ways to try if you want to teach your kids how to deal with peer pressure.

Teach Them Right from Wrong

While this may seem like a no-brainer, one of the best ways to help your kids deal with peer pressure is by teaching them right from wrong, as well as encouraging them to always do the right thing.

As long as they know right from wrong and are prepared to stand up for their values, they will be much more likely to be able to stand up against peer pressure of all kinds. 

Create a Plan

One of the reasons many children are likely to give in to peer pressure is that they are caught off guard and do not have a plan to combat it.

By taking the time to discuss the various scenarios that they could end up in and providing them with methods of easily steering clear of the peer pressure, this will make it easier for them to avoid being pressured into doing things they otherwise wouldn’t. 

Walk Away

Some kids pressure their peers into doing things they may not feel comfortable with by exposing them to certain behaviors to see if they will join in.

By teaching your kids to get up and walk away from these situations, rather than staying around and trying to be included, there is a much better chance that they will be able to stand up to peer pressure. 

Love and Support Your Kids

Experts assert that kids are more prone to peer pressure due to a need for acceptance. The best thing you can do to help them stand up to peer pressure is to show them you’ll be there for them, with unconditional love and support. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, while there is no way to guarantee that your kids will be safe from the influence of peer pressure, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure they grow into healthy young adults that are content with themselves and able to make sound decisions.

Although you may not be able to stop your kids from ever trying drugs or alcohol, you can lay a foundation that makes it possible to avoid rehab for drug and alcohol issues later in life.

What kinds of pressure do your kids face in school or collage in order to fit in?

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How to Teach Kids to Deal with Peer Pressure

Patrick Bailey

Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.