09 Sep Helping Your Child Stand Up to Peer Pressure
School is in full swing! Today, we are going to talk about how we can help our children stand up to peer pressure.
When your child has friends who aren’t the best influence, you can start to see bad habits and behaviors forming in your child’s life. Let’s look at how to avoid this.
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Understand that peer pressure will never go away. Peer pressure can start in kindergarten, and it continues into adulthood. Your children will face it, and they need to know how to face it.
Be encouraged that God is with your child. Romans tells us that God is within us, so your children are always heading into school with God beside them. He can help them face this struggle.
Although peer pressure can be difficult, God has already won our battles.
4 Ways to Help Your Child
1. Prep Them Before They Experience Peer Pressure
Before your children ever experience peer pressure, explain to them that who they spend their time with will shape who they become. Encourage them to be choosy.
My parents taught me to be kind to everyone but to choose my close friends wisely. Let your kids know that choosing not to hang around someone who is a bad influence is not mean. We can be kind without conforming.
Continue to prep them for peer pressure so they know how to handle it when it happens. Here are several ways to prep your kids:
- Pray with them on the way to school. I’ve used this with my own kids, and it works wonders. On the way to school, pray out loud with your kids that Jesus will help them do the right thing when pressured.
- Role play scenarios. Make up several scenarios that are realistic for how peer pressure might appear in your children’s lives. Ask them what they should do in these situations and discuss their answers.
- “You + Jesus is always the majority.” I got this quote from an episode of The Odyssey. Explain to your children that even if most of their friends want to do something wrong, if they side with Jesus, they are on the winning team.
- Let them know they can always come to you. Tell your children that they can always come to you when they are feeling pressured, and don’t be surprised when they do. Give them gentle guidance and encouragement.
2. Support Them While They Experience Peer Pressure
When your children experience peer pressure, they will need your love and guidance.
*Tip* Don’t act surprised! When your children share their problems with peer pressure, take it in stride so they don’t feel insecure about sharing with you again.
Let them speak. They might even come up with their own solution. If they are reluctant to talk, ask pointed questions to lead them towards a positive outcome. It they feel like they came up with the solution, they will be more likely to put the solution in action.
If your child is struggling to make a good choice, ask him/her, “Would you rather please God or people?” Bring the dialogue back to our purpose as Christians so your child can see how much more important God’s opinion is.
3. Encourage Them If/When They Succumb to Peer Pressure
Peer pressure has only two outcomes: your child resists or caves.
Eventually, your child will probably cave to peer pressure. Our children aren’t perfect, and we have to understand that mistakes will happen.
Don’t expect so much that your children are bound to fail.
Try sharing your own failures with your children. Let them know how you wish you had done something differently. This will help your children realize that everyone makes mistakes, and they will feel encouraged to make better decisions in the future.
4. Celebrate with Them When They Stand Up to It
Resisting peer pressure is difficult. If your child stands up to the peer pressure, make a big deal out of it!
Point out to your children that when they resist peer pressure, they are setting a good example for other kids. Let them know that you are proud of them for being leaders, and give them plenty of praise and encouragement.
Positive reinforcement is the best way to ensure that this good behavior will occur again in the future.
How to Use this to Create World Changers
I hope you found encouragement in this post to help your kids be strong leaders who do not succumb to peer pressure. You’ll see this positively affect your kids, and it will help them make a difference in this world for God.
As your kids learn to stand up against the small stuff, they’ll find it easier to stand up against the big stuff.
If you want even more help to raise your kids to be powerful warriors for Christ, check out ‘Raising World Changers’. It’s a course I created to help Christian moms empower their kids to influence this world.
In this course, you’ll discover applicable lessons like this one, a helpful work book, convenient app, and so much more.