Peer Pressure

 

Wanting to be popular is as natural as breathing. Having friends makes middle school students feel accepted. But many parents worry about their kids doing dangerous things to fit in with their peers.

 

How can you help your child deal with negative peer pressure? Try these tips:

Strengthen Family Ties - Like everyone else, middle graders need love and acceptance. How can you support your child? Spend time together. Point out their strengths and listen to them.

 

Set Clear Rules - Let your child know where you stand on important issues. Clear guidelines and consequences help kids do the right thing.

 

Share Your Experience - Let your child know about the pressures you face - and how you handle them.

 

Middle school is a very difficult time for many students and parents. Helping your middle school student deal with negative peer pressure takes a lot of patience and understanding. Hopefully, the above tips will help you navigate through these challenging but meaningful years.

 

How to handle negative peer pressure

This is not an easy thing to do because as the name applies it can be your friends who are pressuring you. So how do you stand up to the pressure from friends?

  • Sometimes humor is a good strategy. Some people are really good at deflecting attention      from themselves or their actions by using humor. Have you noticed those      people? A quick witted one liner can take the pressure off the current      conversation without offending anyone.
  • Having a direct conversation with the person or people who you feel are pressuring you is another      way to stop peer pressure. To do this effectively it is good to have some      idea of what you want to say, choose the right time and place to say it      and speak honestly by letting your friends know how much their actions are      affecting you.
  • Seeking support. Getting help      from others, your friends, family, teacher or school counselor. Sometimes,      just talking about it can start to make a difference. With support, you      can begin to not feel so alone with the problem and talk through some      useful strategies that will work for your individual situation.
  • Be true to yourself. Being aware of      your values can help you to stand up for what you believe in and can limit      the effect other people have on your actions and beliefs. Learning more      about your values and being true to your values and beliefs is something      that you continue to develop over your life, so starting to identify these      things now can be a great help as you get older.

 

17 Ways To Avoid Peer Pressure

1. Ask 101 questions.

For example, if a friend pressures you to do something you don’t want to do, just start asking a ton of questions to alleviate the pressure.

2. Say “No” like you mean it.

Make eye contact, then say “No” forcefully, with authority. The more certain you are in your refusal, the less people will bug you. (practice saying no too, on your own, it helps!)

3. Back-up a no with a positive statement.

For example, if you’re turning down something, back it up with a positive statement about why you don’t want to do that.

4. Be repetitive.

Don’t hesitate to state your position over and over again.

5. Get away from the pressure zone.

Leave the scene… make your exit.

6. Avoid stressful situations in the first place.
7. Use the buddy system.

Find a friend who shares your values and back each other up.

8. Consider the results of giving in.

Take a moment to think about the consequences of your actions.

9. Look for positive role models.

The successful students aren’t afraid to say what they like and don’t like.

10. Don’t buy the line that everyone’s doing it.

The truth is, everyone’s NOT doing it.

11. Seek support.

Talk out any peer pressure you’re experiencing with other friends who are also feeling it. It can be reassuring to know that you’re not the only one.

12. Be your own best friend.

Remind yourself every now and then that you’re special and erase any negative statements.

13. Find ways to excel.

Challenge yourself to do your best. Focus your attention on following your personal goals instead of the goals of the group.

14. Don’t pressure others.

Watch out for any subtle forms of pressure you may be exerting.

15. Watch your moods.

Be aware that your moods can affect your sensibility.

 16. Evaluate your friendships.

If your friends are always bugging you to do something you’re not comfortable with, remember that true friends like you for who you are, not who they want you to be.

17. Find new friends.

If you’ve decided that your friends don’t have your best interests at heart, search out new friends who share your values and interests.

Remember that you are important. Your life counts and you can make a difference in this world. If you ever need to talk about this or anything else, please contact your school counselor. We’re here for you.