How to Talk to Your Kids about Peer Pressure

By: Lauren St. Germain Email
By: Lauren St. Germain Email

It's something nearly every child faces and it can be one of the trickiest conversations for parents—peer pressure. Kids face this decision everyday—do what you’re told or go along with your friends. So how do you convince them that their friends don’t know everything?

“What am I going to do with you, you won’t listen to me!! I can’t get through to you” said David Depriest

Sound familiar?

“I try to listen to my parents (but who do you actually listen to)…my friends,” said Lemay Barfield.

Sound more familiar?

Friends say yes and parents say no. It’s a constant battle and parents say they are loosing the fight. How do you win back that control and be the voice in the back of your kids’ heads?

“When the kids go and have those peer pressures, it’s because they don’t have that wholeness at home, so they are looking for that other family component,” said Tanya Gardner, the Parent Project.

As kids grow into hormonal teenagers, the pressure from their friends sky-rockets. This is an important time to re-establish your family bond, even though everyone wants to be the cool mom or the cool dad.

“We had to remember that kids think for here and now. Our teens don’t think for the future, they don’t sit there and plan—that’s why we are parents,” said Gardner.

It is important to set boundaries and don’t give in when you get the puppy-dog eyes or the “I-hate-you’s.”

“Like if you’re sitting there going shopping for instance and you’re trying to pick out clothes for your child…what’s appropriate, what’s not appropriate, what you’ll accept in your home and what you won’t accept in your home,” said Gardner.

As parents, back up your decisions, clearly explain why things are allowed or unacceptable, and try to turn the table on their friends’ influence.

“If you see your friends doing the wrong thing, it’s probably the best choice to chose new friends,” said Barfield.

For more tips on how to talk to your kids about sex, drugs or peer pressure, contact the Parent Project group at 334-712-1542.

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