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Helping Kids Handle Peer Pressure

Table of Contents


Overview

The urge to conform to their peers (kids the same age) is a normal stage for kids ranging in age from about 12 to 21. At this stage, children start looking to their peers—not their parents—to help them figure out everything from what clothes to wear to how serious to be about school.

The one thing that seems to make all adolescents vulnerable to peer pressure is simply being in this age range. They're just doing what kids their age (middle school to high school) do. Research suggests that peer pressure can be especially difficult to resist because, at this stage of their lives, lots of kids:

You can play an important role in this process by helping your kids learn to make good choices when they're being influenced—for better or worse—by their peers.

Is peer pressure always negative?

People tend to focus on the bad effects of peer pressure. But the desire to be like their peers can help your children too. On the positive side, peer pressure can provide kids this age with:

Unfortunately, peer pressure can also lead to risky behavior, such as:

Helping your child handle peer pressure

Whether your child is the most popular kid in class or is someone who has few friends, peer pressure can push him or her to do unhealthy things. Adolescents still need a parent's help to make good decisions—even if they don't act like it. Here are some tips you can use to help them become the people you hope they can be.

Helping yourself when your child is dealing with peer pressure

As normal as it is for adolescents to go along with their peers, it can be just as normal for parents to take their children's challenging behavior personally. Just try to remember that kids aren't so much rejecting you as they are trying to establish their own identity.

Here are some tips that may help.


Credits for Helping Kids Handle Peer Pressure

Current as of: August 3, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Louis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics


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