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[16] November 4, 2011

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...today’s parent First, have regular talks with children about the pressures they face in school and leisure time. Share your

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kids can do to maintain friendships while deflecting peer pressure, including using humor, suggesting a better idea or making an excuse and leaving. Families can agree on a code word or phrase for a teen to use when calling to indicate that there is trouble, knowing that a parent will come, no questions asked. Lastly, know your child’s friends and how they feel about their social status. Those who are more eager to be popular are more willing to compromise morals to fit in.

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things we can do to support our children and help them successfully navigate the peer-pressure pitfalls.

Patti Skelton-McGougan

P

eer pressure is a reality of growing up. Though it’s out of our control as parents, there are

Studies show that when a parent clearly disapproves of an activity, a child is less likely to participate. When children express and defend their own position with a caring adult, they gain extra confidence for times they will need to take a firm stand instead of following the crowd. As adults, we can help children think about what might work for them in various situations they can imagine. Telling a teen to “just say no” or to “walk away” is overly simplistic and assumes that the child holds enough self confidence to risk social rejection. There are plenty of things

PARENT TALK

How to navigate peer pressure

concerns and help them determine healthy boundaries for using drugs, drinking, having sex or engaging in illegal activities. Then help your children understand that if they give in and do something that is contrary to their core value system, they will feel distress and regret later. Be sure to let them know you will hold them responsible for their behavior and present specific, logical consequences.

Parenting - November2011  

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