tweens and teensBy Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT Counselor’s Corner – Peer Pressure Stops

Children and teens face negative peer to peer pressure nearly every day. It could be a dare to run in the hall or talk in class, a challenge to fight or skip school or a request by a friend for homework answers or to drink.

Bullying is often a form of peer pressure as one kid is putting another down to impress his or her friends. Mean girls cliques often begin as early as third grade. How can parents prepare their children for the onslaught of this emotional blackmail?

It’s imperative to teach children to recognize the subtlety of negative peer pressure, to help them to think logically (and quickly) and to equip them with a repertoire of responses to use to deflect the peer’s trouble idea.  And it’s important that the kids feel like they are saving face and keeping their friends while saying “no.”  {Editor’s Note:  See Author’s bio for information concerning Sharon’s award-winning books on this subject for children–Too Smart for Trouble; teens–How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed.; and for parents/helping professionals–Peer Pressure Reversal, 2nd Ed.}

In previous monthly columns, I’ve covered step one (“check out the scene”) and step two (“make a good decision”).  Now we overview the last, and most important step of my Peer Pressure Reversal skills:  Act to Avoid Trouble.  This is the action step that involves teaching them what to say or do to avoid the trouble.

Most youth have been taught only “simply say no” or “leave the scene” by adults, but that is not enough!

  • Young people need replies that fit their personality otherwise they will not be comfortable in saying “no” to trouble.
  • A child with a flair for drama might act shocked (“I can’t believe you’d do that—you’re too smart!).
  •  One with a sense of humor might say no in joking ways (“My parents don’t let me go out on days that end in the letter y!”).
  • Chatty Kathys are generally good at changing the subject (“Did you see that new boy who enrolled in school?).
  •  Any kid can suggest a better idea and walk to it (“Nah… let’s go shoot baskets—I learned something new I want to show you.”).

One of the most difficult peer pressure situations is when one child taunts/dares another with “You’re chicken.”

  •  I teach younger children replies such as “If I’m the chicken, then you’re the egg!”
  • Older kids might return the challenge by saying, “You’re scared to do it yourself!”  When delivered properly the trouble maker is totally disarmed.

Next month I will discuss how to practice these proven strategies with your son or daughter.

Copyright © 2016, Sharon Scott.  No reproduction without written permission from author.

P.S.  Please see my other column SmileNotes “Time Is The Best Gift.”

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Sharon Scott

Sharon Scott

Sharon is the author of eight award-winning books including four on the topic of peer to peer pressure.

The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.

Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!

A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.

Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.
Sharon Scott
https://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/teens-group.jpghttps://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/teens-group-150x150.jpgSharon Scott, LPC, LMFTCounselor's Cornerbullying,Counselor's Corner,LPC,peer pressure,sharon scott,stopping peer pressure,teens,tweenBy Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT - Counselor's Corner - Peer Pressure Stops Children and teens face negative peer to peer pressure nearly every day. It could be a dare to run in the hall or talk in class, a challenge to fight or skip school or a request by a...Parenting Advice and Family Fun Activities