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Peer Pressure: How to Help Your Kids Avoid Trouble and Make Smart Decisions

As a parent, you want your child to grow into a decent human being that establishes positive relationships with every person they come in contact with. Sure, that doesn’t always happen because we’re not perfect but we sure strive to embody that ideal by loving and supporting our children in all their endeavors, especially at home in a controlled environment. It is not until your children get to school age when the influence you’ve had upon them at home is going to get show their true colors when they’re out of your sight and have to make decisions on their own.

You do your best to teach moral values at an early age and how to determine what’s right and what’s wrong but ultimately the decision is going to be up to your child on what they should do, especially when it comes to peer pressure. Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, theft, or violence do you feel confident in knowing that your child will make the right decision in choosing whether or not to take part in those types of peer pressure?

If you’re unsure of what your child might do in situations that involve peer pressure, don’t beat yourself up about it. Because we live in a digital era, our kids are exposed to so many influences that aren’t even coming from their friends… what your kids see on TV, the music they listen to, and the video games they play all play a role in the peer pressure your child experiences on a daily basis, according to familydoctor.org.

There are several parents who have no clue what their child might do in certain situations of peer pressure. Because parents try to shield their kids from peer pressure, they’ll get them heavily involved in extracurricular activities.

Extracurricular activities are actually great solutions to peer pressure. They not only keep kids busy to where they don’t have time to get involved in peer pressure but they also add to your child’s physical and mental capabilities. Consider enrolling your child in music school… by enrolling your child in music school, your child will be exposed to the arts and it forces them to exercise a different part of their brain to learn how to read music…

Obviously, extracurricular activities like music lessons and sports are great for your child but for the parents who aren’t able to enroll their kids in extracurricular activities, you’re going to have to be extremely diligent in keeping the lines of communication open between you and your child.

The Reality of Peer Pressure and Your Child

People tend to think that peer pressure is one kid telling another kid to do something and if they don’t they won’t be their friend anymore. Well, in theory, that is what it is but it’s not so black and white like that… in fact, peer pressure is actually quite subtle and your child might not even realize that they’re giving into peer pressure.

It’s going to be easy for your child to say no to certain situations because there’s a clear distinction that something isn’t right and they shouldn’t do it but for those times where right and wrong isn’t too clear, the best thing you can do is prepare them with certain social skills to make smart choices. Take a look at these tips on how to help your child deal with unavoidable peer pressure.

Teach Them to Say No When They Mean It

From tweens to teens, your kids need to say no when they truly mean it and it’s something they’re unsure about, they need to learn and be prepared to simply say they’re unsure or don’t know. They need to know that they need to pay attention to how their body is reacting to situations too because sometimes your body can react to something before you can even make a decision on what you want to do. The moment your child starts to feel uncomfortable in a certain situation, that’s their confirmation to say no.

Practice Uncomfortable Situations

Just like when it comes to learning how to do certain tasks and skills, you won’t ever really know what to do until you’re actually in that situation and can get hands-on… that same theory applies to how your kids handle peer pressure. Although you may not be able to give them a real hands-on experience, it’s still helpful to go through the motions of what they would and should do in certain situations.

Be Relatable

Kids tend to look at their parents as just their parents, not realizing that they were once their age. In knowing that, you have to remind your kids that you were once a kid and endured the same types of peer pressure that they’re going through. Sometimes being relatable with your kids will help them to open up to you in a way that they’ve never done so before.

By sharing your experiences with your kid, it’s going to make them feel more comfortable sharing their experiences with you. They’re going to feel that you’re going to be a little more understanding of them because you’ve gone through it too.