How to Deal with Peer Pressure – 3 Useful Tips

It is difficult to deny that your kids’ friends and classmates have some influence on your kids and their decision making process. After all, when you spend time with someone your age, you learn from them and they learn from you, making way for the possibility of peer pressure to come into the picture. This influence can sometimes be a positive one – someone in your kid’s math class showed them an easy way to remember the rules of divisibility; someone’s achievements on the baseball field inspired your child to follow suit or a friend with a great fashion sense gave your son or daughter some really cool tips.

But your kids’ peers might also have some negative influence – watching the neighborhood kids take up a few bad habits can easily be the gateway to some bad habits of their own; their best friend could convince them to be mean to someone they doesn’t like; a classmate could persuade them to cut class in lieu of a more exciting activity. For the average kid, peer pressure (including that exerted by cyber bullies) is difficult to resist.

How to Deal with Peer Pressure
How to Deal with Peer Pressure

The Perils of Bowing to Peer Pressure

As you grow older, your friends and classmates (a.k.a. your peers) become an important factor in your lives. Not following their example in social situations can make life tough for you, even if you don’t want to go along with them. This simple fact might be just what makes your kids eager to fit in or scared of being rejected or labeled. But giving in to negative forms of peer pressure will only lower your self-worth, compromise your values and, sometimes, end in disaster. In those cases, no amount of peer acceptance is worth it.

That’s why it is essential for kids to learn how to effectively deal with peer pressure, and safeguard themselves when they’re painted into a corner so that they are comfortable saying no and really meaning it. Here are some top to help kids and adults that are dealing with peer pressure.

Dealing with Peer Pressure – 3 Useful Tips

How to Deal with Peer Pressure
How to Deal with Peer Pressure
  1. Acknowledge it
  2. Recognizing negative or inappropriate forms of peer pressure is the first step towards dealing with them. Listen to that inner voice that warns you when a peer wants you to do something that you’d rather not do. If a friend or a situation makes you worried, nervous, upset or scared, leave immediately and confide in a responsible adult. Never give in to a person or situation that is trying to challenge your personal boundaries.

  3. Think about the Consequences
  4. Before succumbing to peer pressure, ask yourself this: “Will I be proud or ashamed of myself when this is over?” Because every action of yours has consequences – a negative decision today has the potential to hurt you or those you love or care about the most. Giving in to negative peer pressure just to fit in, impress or earn the acceptance of ‘friends’ can lead you into bad relationships, trouble at school or with parents or even with the law.

  5. Choose your Friends Wisely
  6. Dealing with peer pressure is much easier if you stay away from certain people. You have the freedom to hang out with whoever you want – choose to be with positive people who make you a better person and help you make good decisions. Real friends will never pressure you to do something that makes you uncomfortable or unhappy, so surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are.

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