pre-teens
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By Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT – Counselor's Corner

As soon as children can talk and have friends is when negative peer pressure begins.  When children are little it may just be bossing one another around.

By the time they reach the teen years, the influence is much stronger as you the parent have become dumb and your child and their friends have become geniuses.  Trouble invitations as they get older can be about cheating at school, lying to parents, cliques and gossip, drinking alcohol, bullying online—and so much more.  I have spent the better part of my career traveling across the U.S. and abroad teaching kids how to resist negative peer pressure. 

{Editor’s Note:  please see sidebar about the wonderful books Ms. Scott has written for young children, teens, and parents/teachers on this subject.}

I want to remind you that 87% of kids face negative peer pressure every single day.  However, there are certain times when they may be especially vulnerable to peer group influence.  One such time is when your child is new in a school  because of the family moving.  They’re the new kid in town and want to fit in so are especially susceptible.  When a child moves from elementary to middle school or from middle to high school is another difficult time.  They’re the youngest in the school and may want to impress the older kids so they can be easily talked into doing something dumb.  When I was in high school, freshman were paying some of the seniors $5 for an elevator pass.  Problem was there was no elevator in our school!

A recent health problem that makes them feel or look different can be traumatic.  They may feel they are on the outside looking in and might be easier to influence to doing something wrong.  Children who have recently lost a loved one or are grieving the death of a beloved pet may be more vulnerable.  They are not at their strongest at this time.  Children who are excessively reserved may also have trouble standing up for themselves.

Be aware of these difficult times your child could be going through.  Try to be even more supportive and giving of your time to help them manage their peers better.

Copyright © 2013, Sharon Scott.  No reproduction without written permission from author.

P.S.  Please see my other column "The Drill Sergeant Dad."

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

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https://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/pre-teens-hepingting.jpghttps://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/pre-teens-hepingting-150x150.jpgSharon Scott, LPC, LMFTCounselor's Cornerkids,peer pressure,pre-teens,teens,timing,vulnerableBy Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT - Counselor's Corner As soon as children can talk and have friends is when negative peer pressure begins.  When children are little it may just be bossing one another around. By the time they reach the...Parenting Advice and Family Fun Activities