Positive peer relationships are important to any and all individuals across the lifespan. The importance of having positive relationships is that they provide us with support and a sense of belonging. As parents, we can help encourage our children to develop positive peer relationships and provide support for healthy friendships. One of the best ways we can teach our kids about positive peer relationships is by talking with them about peer pressure. There are several approaches on tackling the topic of peer pressure with kids. We could share our own experiences of peer pressure and how we’ve dealt with it or we may act out different scenarios with our kids so they strengthen a few of these resistance skills:
- Using “I” messages with a firm voice to reinforce your “no” decision. For example, “No, I do not want to do that” shows confidence and assertiveness.
- Using self-control to get away from the situation without getting angry (arguing back is not productive in the heat of the moment).
- Finding a trustworthy adult to help intervene if the situation persists.
For more tips on how to support healthy friendships, visit https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-development/healthy-relationships/healthy-friendships/adult-support/index.html.