'Ask the Learning Advisor'
What can parents do about peer pressure?
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[MAY 11, 2005]
I'm worried about peer pressure.
Lately, it's become more important for our daughter to impress her
friends than to live by the values we have tried to teach her. What
can we do to help her resist all the negative influences surrounding
Children are influenced by their
friends, just as adults are. That influence can be helpful or
harmful. It can help children do better in school -- or cause real
The good news is
that you can help your child deal with peer pressure -- and even
make it a positive influence in her life.
some ways you can help:
your child develop self-confidence. Ask for her opinions. "What do
you think we should do tomorrow?" Or, "I need to decide who to
vote for in the election next week. Help me look over these
articles and figure out who I should support."
children see that they're capable of making good judgments,
they'll be less likely to be blindly swayed by peer pressure.
Encourage participation in positive activities. With activities
like music, athletics, Scouts or other youth groups, your child
will be surrounded by peers who share her positive interests.
After-school activities can also occupy the time your child might
otherwise spend in negative pursuits.
time talking with her about important issues. If you watch a
television program that touches on peer pressure, talk about it.
You might ask, "What would you have done in that situation?" Your
willingness to listen -- and not just lecture -- will show your
child that you respect her opinions.
- Teach her to foresee situations
that may lead to trouble. An invitation to a place that will have
no adult supervision can lead to "sticky" situations. Phrases like
"We won't get into any trouble" should be a tip-off that this may
be a situation to avoid. Have her suggest other things to do:
"Let's go see a movie." "Why don't we ride our bikes to the park?"
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know her friends. Turn your house into the after-school or weekend
hangout. For the price of some pizzas or popcorn, you can learn
who is influencing your child. And, you'll be able to make sure
that your child and her friends won't be using drugs and alcohol.
- Talk with other parents at every
opportunity. You'll learn that not everybody is allowed to stay
out all night. You'll also find out that everybody else does
have to do chores around the house. When your child knows what
is really expected of other children, she can better handle the
sometimes exaggerated claims of her peers.
Be consistent in your role as a
parent. You can't choose your child's friends, but you can make her
less vulnerable to negative peer pressure.
* * *
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question to The Learning
Advisor, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
© Copyright 2005, The Parent
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
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