#AD – This is a collaborative post
When children reach an age where they start to care about the opinions of others, especially their schoolmates, there’s a chance they could start getting into trouble and become distracted from their work. The teenage years are a tricky time for young people and it takes a lot of support from the people around them, whom they trust, to come out the other side unscathed. When it comes to helping your child learn to resist peer pressure, you may not know where to start. Fortunately, I have teamed up with a prep school in Kent to offer you the following advice.
Make sure your child is aware that you are there for them no matter what and they can talk to you about any problems they might be having. When they come to you, you’ll need to listen calmly and give them constructive advice. If you interrupt them whilst they’re talking to you or you judge them on things they’re telling you about, they’ll be reluctant to come to you again in the future.
If you can see that your child has some friends that are a better influence on them than others, try and cultivate those friendships. Encourage your child to invite that individual round for playdates. Basically, the idea is to help your child build healthy, positive relationships with kind children that will guide them in the right direction.
Teach your child about what friendship actually involved; a true friend will never force your child to do something they don’t want to do. Let your child know that it’s perfectly okay to say no if they’re not comfortable with something. For instance, if someone offers them a cigarette and they don’t want to smoke, they don’t have to take it. Explain to them that people will have more respect for them if they can stick up for themselves and make their own decisions, rather than following the crowd.
Establishing and maintaining the boundaries needed to resist peer pressure will require a level of confidence. You can help your child become more confident by praising them when they deserve it and encouraging them to try new things and develop new skills. Believing in yourself and your abilities is one of the key ingredients to making your own decisions.