But all my friends are doing it?

How many times have parents heard this? Peer pressure is indeed real and children, especially teenagers need to be equipped to handle it.

So as parents, what can you do?
First, hold an open conversation with your child explaining that this is a common issue for everyone regardless of one’s age. Teach your child that decisions made can have a positive or negative consequence therefore, it is equally important to think things through before acting on them. Parents will need to encourage and remind the child to rely on his inner voice or conscience when having to make important decisions or under peer pressure. Most often, decisions that leave one feeling uncertain, uneasy, or confused, should be reviewed. In addition, your child can use the following criteria to help: Does my decision fit with our family rules and with our family values? Will my decision have consequences?

Parents continue to be the number influence on a child’s behavior. Families that take the time to teach family rules and values will help to strengthen the child’s confidence when having to make those tough decisions. Why? Children often lack the necessary experience to look beyond the immediate. It is therefore important that parents work together to establish ground rules and stick to them. As the child grows in experience, parents can alter the rules to match his level of maturity. Decision making skills like all skills require practice. Parents who are firm, yet fair, when dealing with requests and boundaries will help the child grow with this process.

And finally, children who are grounded in love, direction and purpose are better equipped to understand the consequences of their actions and peer pressure will no longer have any power over a disciplined mind.

Champion Parenting/Building Leaders for Life

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About authoraliceiorio

A nationally known educator, with over 20 years of teaching experience (preschool- college) is President and founder of Champion Parenting, Inc., a nonprofit.
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