Understanding Peer Pressure

Understanding Peer Pressure

Have you heard the phrase ” but all of my friends…..”

Peer pressure! From about 10 to 17, kids start to look to their peers to help them figure out things-from what clothes to wear to  what subjects should I study or should I study at all?

Relax, it’s just a phase. If you navigate it well, you’ll emerge with a confident and empowered young adult.

What you need to know:

This can be a very frustrating time for them. They want to fit in with the crowd. They want to be independent. They don’t want to feel awkward or uncomfortable. They are afraid of being rejected. They don’t know how to get out of a pressure situation. They aren’t quite sure what they want. This phase in their lives closely mimics what happens to an infant. Growth hormones are rampant. They are “seeing” the world for the first time (cognitive ability is at it’s highest). Physically, they may be a little awkward. Soo much is happening and it can be overwhelming to them.

What you should do: 

1. Understand the phase

Stay calm- Don’t over react in the moment. Assess and address the situation before you berate or blame your child.

Stay informed-Do your homework. Know what the latest trends are when it comes to substances kids are using. What are kids wearing? What’s the latest techie trend? The more you know, the better you can protect your kids and help them make good decisions.

Stay involved– Even though they say they don’t want to hang out with you, they still need your presence. Let them know you see them and let them know you’re interested in what’s going on in their life. Know who their friends are, what kind of music they listen to and know what they like and don’t like.

2. Help them make good decisions.

Teach them how to say no. Role-play with them by acting out several scenarios. This sounds silly, but it really does work. There is nothing better than having a plan already in your head when  “the crew” gets  together and no one has a plan.

Help them develop strong self esteem. Take time to praise your child and celebrate achievements. The more confident your child is, the more likely he/she is able to resist negative peer pressure.

Create a special code word(s). Code words are special words your child can use when they want help but don’t want their friends to know they’re asking you for help. For example: they are at a sleepover and a movie is on that they aren’t suppose to watch- your child can call or text and say “my nose keeps itching”. You know this means “come get me”.

Negative peer pressure can be intense, but the flip of that is developing a strong, confident individual who knows who they are and is okay with not being a part of the crowd. Let your kids know you’re in their corner. If they are faced with negative peer pressure they can always refuse by saying “ My mom will ________________ me if I do that.

Keep Living Out Loud

in HIM, terry