Peer pressure is a difficult situation for your children. It happens when your children imbibe
their friends or classmates, try to fit in their social circle, or want to feel accepted by
someone.
Peer pressure is good as long as it is in the form of healthy competition or encourages your
children to do their best. However, it becomes a serious situation when it begins to
adversely impact their physical, emotional or mental well-being. They begin to develop
some bad habits or exhibit inappropriate behaviour. These are signs that your child is
buckling under peer pressure.
Here are some ways to help your children tackle peer pressure effectively:

 Choose Friends Wisely
Ask your children to choose friends who make them feel comfortable, offer support and
treat them at par. Children should learn to play or interact with friends who display risky
behaviour or poor moral values.
It is also advisable to keep a watchful eye on your children’s friends to understand whether
they are a good or bad influence on your children.

 Teach Them Appropriate Responses
If your children’s friend asks them to steal money or smoke a cigarette, they might be
tempted to do so because they don’t want to lose the friendship. However, if your children
know how to respond to such situations, then they can come out of peer pressure. So,
teach your child to be assertive and firmly say ‘no’ to any unsuitable requests from their
friends. They can also give their friends an excuse like ‘my parents will not like this’ and blame you.

 Help Children Develop Self-Confidence
One of the major reasons for peer pressure is that children lack self-esteem. So, following
someone else’s footsteps makes them feel confident. Help your children grow self-
confidence by seeking their opinions and ideas. When your children feel that they can make
good decisions or judgements, then they will become more confident.

 Develop a Secret Code
At times, it might be possible that your children may not be able to rescue themselves from
peer pressure. For such cases, you need to create a secret family code. Your children can
use this code to call for your help.

 Educate Your Child About Bad Behaviour

Pick a time when your children are in good mood and explain to them about the impact of
bad behaviour on their life or family. Tell them how bad habits such as smoking, alcohol or
drugs can ruin their life and future. When children know about these facts, they will know to
make the right decision when an unpleasant peer pressure situation presents in front of
them.
These tips will help your child deal with peer pressure. However, if you feel that your child is
still facing serious issues that are harming their life and future, you might consider changing
the child’s school or your residence. It is also recommended to speak to a child counsellor to
resolve these issues.

About Rekha Menon

Rekha Menon is a primary teacher by profession, now engaged in various hobby & craft classes for kids, and occasionally writes about topics which interest her. With two teenage kids, she is usually grappling with issues that most parents deal with, and shares her views to stimulate discussion on these.

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