The Effects of Peer Pressure

A child’s peers are those they admire and respect or a group of friends they associate with. Depending on your child’s lifestyle, they may have a number of peer groups from school, sports clubs or through social media platforms.

Peer pressure can have both positive and negative outcomes. Many children give into peer pressure because they wish to feel included and not ostracised. Negative outcomes can involve your child being influenced to try alcohol, drugs, sex or anti-social behaviour. Positive outcomes can influence your child to sample new types of music, food, hobbies or school subjects. It is important to ascertain whether your child’s peer groups are having the right kind of influence.

Make sure that your child feels secure enough to tell you the truth; make them realise that there is not judgment when they confide in you. Advise them about the importance of making the right relationships and how to say no to negative peer pressure.

While it is difficult to say no to friends, teach your child effective methods of doing so. This could involve suggesting another activity instead, reverting the focus back onto the influencer with phrases like: ‘I hope you respect my decision to say no’ and removing oneself from the situation entirely.