How to help your child deal with peer pressure?

As parents, there are some instincts that you just cannot ignore. One of them is to be your child’s champion, guardian and knight. While you may think you know your child best (and your child may vehemently deny that) and have their best interests at heart, it is easy for parents to fall into a trap between what’s best for them and what keeps them happy.

 

A growing challenge for children these days is handling peer pressure. Family values and upbringing impact a child’s behaviour but even with that, they want to fit-in and be liked by their peers. And as the horrible realisation kicks in that an outsider i.e. your child’s friend is not only influencing your child’s behaviour but also dictating it, your anger with the situation is justified.

 

However, the fact remains that peer pressure exists and you need to acknowledge it. Once you accept that, you can explain the concept to your child. You can explain that while it is acceptable if a friend expresses his or her opinion; it is unacceptable if that friend forces you to accept their opinion.

 

Another important thing is to always keep the channels of communication open between you and your child. Your child may not come to you in the beginning, trying to sort it out on their own, but they should know coming to you is always an option.

 

For a parent, the hardest thing is to see their child struggle with something that your intervention can put right. But as an adult, you need to choose your battles – there are some which are worth fighting and some worth sitting out. Give your child the benefit of being his or her own hero but at the same time, be around, in case a sidekick is needed.

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