Peer pressure is a tough issue for most children to manage. Negative peer pressure often influences child behavior in a direction that is not natural for a child to experience.

Parenting children includes teaching coping mechanisms for peer pressure. The following brief steps are written to help you, the parent, begin to assist your child with this important issue.

Helping your child to become more assertive with his or her friends by teaching your child to use a calm, but firm voice to say, “No, I don’t care to be with you guys when you do that stuff.”

Role-play with your child: The parent plays the part of the negative influence. The child plays him or herself.

Teaching your child to encourage his or her friends to do something else that is more positive. For example: “Let’s go play football.” Or, “Let’s go watch a movie.”

Discuss with your child ways that he or she can safely remove him or herself from a negative situation without being ridiculed by his or her friends. Examples:

“I have to go. My parents are expecting me.”

“What time is it? I forgot. I have to be someplace now. See ya!”

Just walk away. Leave. Say nothing.

“You guys! I have to stay out of trouble. I don’t want to get grounded.”

“I will really get into trouble.” “Yes, my parents will find out.” “My parent’s are not stupid.”

Encourage your child to become friends with positive peers. As a parent, it’s very difficult to pick your child’s friends. In fact, the experts say it’s sometimes impossible without alienating your child. However, if your child hangs around others who you believe are negative peer influences, they need to hang around places where you or other trusted adults are present. Speak with your child’s teachers, coaches, youth pastors and all adults who have responsibility for your child while they are with other children.

Author's Bio: 

Scott Wardell is the SelfGrowth Official Guide to Child Development. He’s the creator and author of Scott has twenty-eight years in education and counseling experience. Visit to review hundreds of free parenting articles and receive online counseling services.

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