Negative Peer Pressure: Help Your Children Avoid It
How to help your children avoid negative peer pressure. What to do to help kids select the right sort of company. How to deal with their objections with your interference.
Sometimes, parents need to help their kid to choose friends. Parents need to step in when they discover that the friend is a bad influence on their kid. These are the children who engage in dangerous activities like involvement in alcohol, drugs, sex, safety violations or illegal acts. Other signs and symptoms of poor peer influence are falling grades, secrecy about his friend and whereabouts they spend time together. Sudden changes of behavior are also warning indicators that something isn't right about the new friendship.
Parents can break up the bad influence by enforcing rules such as disciplining the child. Make it a point that the objection is to the bad behavior and not about the friend. This is to avoid your child defending his friend more and becoming more stubborn.
Help your child to choose friends by monitoring his activities. Ask about his plans for the day and with whom he is spending time with. Always double check discreetly. Ask for a phone number. Call and verify his story. Invite his friends over for a meal or some social event. You get to check out his friends and how your child interacts with them.
Teens are more resentful of parents vetting their friendships. Greater tact must be exercised to win their trust and affection in your decision for them. Strong parental objection may only aggravate matters if the teen decides to defy his parents secretly. In this case, negotiate for a compromise. Say you'll accept the friend if the behavior is acceptable. Emphasize domestic rules and explain the reasons. In time to come, your teen will appreciate your objection to his friend's deviant ways. He may even drop that friend voluntarily.
If your kid uses peer pressure arguments on you, arrange to meet the friend or talk to his friend's mother to verify the argument. Your kid will usually back off because he's cornered.
You can help your kid choose friends by promoting good values and activities. That way, he'll meet up with good influences in the social activities he participates in. He'll have no time for bad hats. Some parents try settling down in "good" neighborhoods and enrolling in "good" schools. This may work but your kid still needs monitoring and guidance.
The trick is to be alert to changes in your kid's behavior and act quickly to stop the bad influence. When addiction to anything sets in, it'll be even more difficult to put a stop to associating with his bad choice of friends.