middle school kids By Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT

A peer pressure example can sound like this: “If you don’t play this game with me, then just go home” or “I’m mad at Jesse—if you’re my friend you won’t talk to her.” Nip this problem in the bud by teaching children as young as five years old how to be “Too Smart for Trouble” based on my children’s book by the same name. [Editor’s Note: Sharon has a series of award-winning skills books written for children ages 5-10 and ‘co-authored’ by her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas. See sidebar for ordering details.] You’ve previously been given tips on teaching your child my proven effective Peer Pressure Reversal techniques called Too Smart for Trouble for the elementary-age. The simplified steps are:

· Look and Listen · Think: Is It Good or Bad? · Say “No” to Trouble

My last five columns have been devoted to teaching your teen and preteen how to manage all kinds of negative peer group pressure. Now we will focus on examples of peer pressure for the younger set. Negative peer pressure begins when children are 2-3 years old!

Looking and Listening teaches the child to notice clues to trouble invitations such as friends acting sneaky/whispering, looking around to see if anyone is looking or using ‘trouble’ sentences such as “We won’t get caught” or “If you were my friend, you’d do this.” Think: Is It Good or Bad? It teaches the child to put on his thinking cap and listen to his own voice and trust that he knows right from wrong. And Saying “No” to Trouble teaches a multitude of ways to say no yet “save face” including leaving confidently, suggesting a better idea, returning the dare, the ‘joking’ no and, of course, asking a trusted adult for help.

After you teach your children the Too Smart for Trouble skills, then it’s time to practice a variety of age-appropriate skits with them to help them perfect the skill. Remind them that the goal is to get out of the trouble in 30 seconds or less. Why? Because when they take too long, it gives the trouble maker more time to convince them to go along. And even if they don’t waiver, they are likely to get into an argument with their buddy when taking too long.

Examples of Peer Pressure

A skit might look like this:

Parent: “Johnny, I’m going to pretend I’m a friend your same age and may try to talk you into trouble. I will only tell you where the scene takes place and then the action begins. Your job is to try to manage the trouble while keeping me as a friend—and do all of this within about 30 seconds. Ready? This first skit takes place outside while we are riding our bikes. Hey, Johnny, let’s ride way over to that new park. If we ride fast then we can get back really quick and our parents while never know!”

Johnny: “No way! There’s a dangerous intersection we would have to cross. I don’t want to be splattered all over the road.”

Parent: “That won’t happen. Come on–please”

Johnny: “No. Let’s go shoot baskets at my house.” {Turns and pretends to ride away.}

Parent: “Wow, Johnny—that was quick thinking! Which of the Too Smart for Trouble choices we learned did you use?”

Johnny: “Well, I said no and I suggested a better idea.”

Parent: “Yes! And you also joked! I’m impressed.”

Continue more skits on either trouble ideas such as lying to parents, spreading an unkind rumor, cutting in line in the cafeteria, cutting someone out of the group, stealing, fighting, running in the school halls etc.—whatever is going on among the child’s peers in your locale. And praise lavishly when your child is successful! You want to make them feel good for doing good! Even five minutes of role-play skits per week will dramatically increase your child’s ability to manage negative peer pressure. And research shows that 87% of America’s kids face it daily!

Copyright © 1985-2012, Sharon Scott. Gleaned in part from Sharon Scott’s Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed. And Too Smart for Trouble. No reproduction without written permission from author.

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/2016/03/tweens.jpghttps://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/tweens-150x150.jpgSharon Scott, LPC, LMFTCounselor's Corner6,elementary,friends,Keeping,no,Saying,simply By Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT A peer pressure example can sound like this: “If you don’t play this game with me, then just go home” or “I’m mad at Jesse—if you’re my friend you won’t talk to her.” Nip this problem in the bud by teaching children as young as five...Parenting Advice and Family Fun Activities