By Celine Villadares
Peers play an important role in the development of a child. Each child’s values and character somehow affects one another with regards to how they treat others and act on certain issues. There are times that your child won’t be comfortable to go against his friends’ wish; here are some ways to teach him the importance of saying no to peer pressure:
The What Is & What’s Not
Most children are taught early on to differentiate the good and the bad, to know what an acceptable behavior is and not; what the parents must emphasize would be the consequences of each action that a child would take. It is of essential value that a child is aware of what can be the aftereffects of certain actions especially if it involves others, this can be true to kids who experience being bullied at school or kids who join others to cut classes just to fit in. Your child must understand that in every consequence of his action, he must face and deal with it.
Talk About It Openly
Peer pressure must be openly discussed with your child. Make them aware of what good and bad influenced friends are. It is also important to talk about the common peer pressures that students and other children may experience so they can categorize the actions as such. You can name a few such as bullying, drugs and smoking, cutting classes and playing fun at someone. Discuss with your child if he observes these things from school and ask him on what actions he must do. As you go on listen well to your child as well, by showing him that what he says matters, you give him the security that he is valued.
Most children who fall prey to peer pressure are those with lower self-confidence. Due to the great desire to fit in and to belong in a group, a child can easily give in to peer pressure. Train your child to be confident, now this job starts young. Confidence is something built at home, and parents’ role is very important. Teach your kid about gestures that promote confidence such as looking at the eyes of the person to show sincerity in his words; also by being firm with his decisions. Teach him that friendship can be formed without compromising his values. That’s teaching him both confidence and a great value.
Set a Good Example
Above all, parents must know how to show that saying “NO” to adult peers can also be applicable to them as parents. If your child sees you standing up for what you believe in, it would be such a big boost on his confidence that indeed saying no is the right thing to do.
As parents, you can never have full control over who or what could influence your child’s development and character (especially outside home), but teaching him the right ways in dealing with peer pressure would sure help a lot! 🙂