Peer pressure is the influences that people of the same rank or age have on each other. Peer pressure is a fact of life and most children will experience some form of it. Many parents want to shield their children from peer pressure and realize they cannot. However, there is much a parent can do to help their child deal with peer pressure.

Ways you can help your child minimize peer pressure

The most important thing you can do for your child is to develop a close relationship with him or her. Children who feel they have an honest and open relationship with a parent are more inclined to be mindful of family values and discuss any problems or pressures that they may be experiencing with their parents.

Teach your children that feeling pressured to do something to fit in is a common occurrence, even for adults. Talk to them about conflicting emotions that they may feel when faced with peer pressure. This will give them a better footing when they are confronted with it.

It is important to know where your child is at all times. Children should always feel that they can call home at any hour of the day or night to speak with you. Children should also feel that parents are more than willing to come and pick them up if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation.

Teach your child how to be independent, as well as a leader. Teach children from an early age that they do not have to emulate their peers to be liked or to fit in. Teach your child it is ok to say “no” and to stand up for what they believe in.

Family and peer pressure

Sometimes children will experience peer pressure from their siblings. While it is important for children to develop interests outside of the home, family outings should be a normal part of the home routine. Children should be expected to attend family outings and are encouraged to bring their friends along. Regular family time outings and events will help keep close family ties. Allowing a child’s friend to come along will also give you an insight into your child’s choice of friends.

Try to form friendships with your child’s friends and their parents. This will give you an inside peek as to the household your child’s friend comes from, and whether it is a safe environment for your child to be in on a regular basis.