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Positive Peer Pressure

When you hear the phrase "peer pressure," it usually conjures up seedy scenes of a group of teens chanting and bullying another kid to do something he shouldn't. From drugs to smoking and sex and everything in between, peer pressure is a scary thing for most parents to think about. But, did you know that not all peer pressure is a bad thing? It's true!

Positive Peer Pressure Does Exist!

Peer pressure can be both good and bad. While you are already familiar with the bad kind, there are some good things that can come out of peer pressure as well. Positive peer pressure happens when pressure from friends motivates kids to do the right thing, follow the rules, be nice to others, etc. But it is the negative peer pressure with which parents need to be concerned. Keep these tips in mind when it comes to dealing with negative peer pressure in preteens and teens:

  • Discuss what peer pressure is with your child. Try doing some role playing so he is familiar with some scenarios that can teach him how to say no and avoid giving in.
  • Focus on building a healthy self-esteem in your child. Those kids who have a lot of confidence are more likely to not give in to negative peer pressure.
  • Teach your child he should never try to pressure other kids into doing bad things. While we all like to think of our children as the ones being pressured, somebody's kids are doing the pressuring!
  • Pay attention to his peers, and if you happen to find some that are negative, try to steer them in another direction. Redirect your child’s time to better influences and positive peer pressure.
  • You can help to keep teens’ behavior in check by establishing and sticking to routines. This can easily be done and monitored by using behavior charts.

Dealing With Peer Pressure

Peer pressure issues are quite common with preteens and teens, and there is very little you can do to avoid them all together. But with some consistency and discussion, you can successfully help your child navigate his way around those issues without succumbing to the negative pressures he may encounter!