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Help your child cope with peer pressure 

We see a lot of kids who have just entered their teens hanging in the gullies with cigarettes dangling from their lips. Staying out late, getting drunk and trying drugs are some of the other bad habits that are acquired by teens today through negative influences, one of the major ones being peer pressure.

Standing up to peer pressure is one of the greatest challenges a growing kid faces. A kid who is unable to cope with peer pressure will get involved in harmful, dangerous and even illegal activities. It is up to the parents to see that they are able to stand up to such temptations and stay out of trouble. Here’s how parents can help their children to stand up to peer pressure.

Strengthening the bond with your child will most likely get him to understand and respect your views and values. If he sees you in his corner of the ring, he will be better able to resist peer pressure.

Children who are confident and have positive self-worth are more likely to pursue friendships with children who are good role models and better able to resist negative peer pressure. Promote your child's self-esteem by involving him in activities that capitalize on his strengths and interests.
 
Set a good example. If your child sees that you are constantly striving to keep up with your friends he will likely do the same with his peers.
Talk with your child about peer pressure. Let him know that his peers may respect his decision not to join them in an activity even though they may not express it, and that some may even admire his courage in resisting what they could not. Help him understand that a friend who is pressuring him to do something that may be harmful is not much of a friend.

Listen to what your child has to say without overreacting. Overreacting will discourage him from talking with you about these issues again. Use these teachable moments to introduce some cautions without moralizing or lecturing. Although it may seem as though he is dismissing what you are saying, he will hear you.

Don’t make a hill out of an ant mound like when your child wants to wear the same clothes as his friends or adopting a trendy hairstyle. Butt in only when the activity he chooses to follow carries high risks. Battling your child constantly over minor issues may drive your child toward peers who are similarly alienated from their parents which will only worsen things.

Help your child trust his own instincts and develop good decision-making skills. That way he will be less likely to let others make decisions for him. Encourage him to think through the possible consequences of the decision he is facing.

Get to know your child's friends. Make a point of encouraging your child to invite his friends home. Spend some time with them and assess whether they are positive influences.

Don't hesitate to set limits for your child. Your willingness to say no to him sets a good example and may help give him the courage to say no to a peer when faced with a potentially harmful situation.

 
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