Peer pressure, and negative social engagement, for children these days is intense. Children are up against the overbearing influence of social media, music, social standards, and some of them act like they have zero respect for the word “no”.
As with all things within this physical existence, there is also duality and balance with regard to peer pressure. Peer pressure can be both a negative and positive experience, as parents; we must be observant, knowledgeable and tuned in at all times of the social life of our children.
When a child naturally gives in to peer pressure; it allows the parent an opportunity to instill positive growth and character development. It is very important that parents invite and maintain an “open door” practice that fosters ongoing communication and non-judgmental conversation regarding their peer groups, friends and network. Having this type of relationship with young adolescents’ empowers them to confide in you and trust the advice and support you will give them.
Consistency is a key factor in how successful this relationship will be sustained.
A balance of feedback should be evident, so your child can see that you are acknowledging when they demonstrate a positive and appropriate response to peer pressure as well as areas for improvement.
- Plan regular and ongoing family activities. Remember, the family is the immediate and most frequent contact a child encounters. Parents who actively engage in quality time with their children helps them develop close relationships and appropriate boundaries.
- Stay connected and involved in your child’s social life. Yes, involved. Get to know and encourage friendships in positive social settings. Know where they are and what they are doing.
- Ask questions and have conversations about their day not just academically but socially as well.
- BE emotionally invested in their life. Your child must feel and experience that you care about their social connections and activities with their peers.