To resist peer pressure-kids must understand
what peer pressure is and how to “spot” it!
Negative peer pressure can cause stress for our kids when they just want to be accepted and “fit in”.
Our kids CAN learn to choose how they respond to peer pressure along with being bullied. Understanding that peers are similar in age, classmates, teammates; and kids tend to gather in groups. Groups are great, when the consensus of the group is towards a common positive environment or outcome of an event.
It’s always welcome to have peers and friends that put forth positive and encouraging words. Yet sometimes, there’s one or two children that feel a need for control and are aggressive with words and/or physically . We need to educate our kids how to be prepared and have a response in “their back pocket” ready for any situation they may encounter. Learning how to say “NO” to negative peer pressure and “YES” to themselves.
Understanding how to respond when asked to do something by a peer, your child learns how to step through a self discussion;
- Does it feel right, does it make me uncomfortable?
- Could I or someone feel bad or be hurt?
- Could I get into trouble?
The point is to discuss what some scenarios of both positive and negative peer pressure. To get your child to bring up ideas they have in their life that may be considered peer pressure or actual bullying.
I use a story with characters, children can relate to, that go through the experience of peer pressure and we stop and ask questions to the group or child to see what they think is next. Why did the characters do or not do something? The kids can discuss this in a group environment.
Research has shown that the frontal lobe of the brain, where logical processing occurs, is the last area to develop. Children can be very compulsive to react, often not thinking through options before making a decision. Preparation is key!
This program is based on the workshop Standing Up to Peer Pressure, which is one of several workshops in the InnerPower series life skills.
A child that completes this workshop will have a take home worksheet to go over with family members to help reinforce the skill along with their own prepared responses for situations they may encounter.