Des Moines, IA

Pushing Out Peer Pressure

Making decisions on your own are hard enough, but add in peer pressure from others and it can become extremely difficult to make a decision.

While peer pressure doesn’t affect one age group, it can have some serious consequences in the development of a child who is still learning right from wrong.

School girl not being includedOf course not all peer pressure moments are necessarily good or bad, for example, being pressured to play one instrument over another. When it does become an issue is when the decision affects ethical and moral issues such as skipping classes or activities, being peer pressured into trying drugs or alcohol, acting mean towards another person, and more.

Not all peer pressure is negative and some may even have a positive effect on your child, if they are hanging out with good kids that make smart and healthy decisions, such as fruit instead of candy for snacks. We all rub off on others whether we intend to or not.

People give into peer pressure for different reasons. Some may do it to fit in with a certain group to be liked, others may just want to try something new and be curious, while others may give in just because “everyone else is doing it”.

As a parent, before you can teach your child(ren) about handling peer pressure, you need to help guide them on what is right and wrong and what values are important. Once these are established, you can begin to teach your child self-confidence and prepare them to say “no” and to walk away from a peer pressure situation.

Tips for teaching about peer pressure:
1. Choose Wisely. Teach your children about other peers and how to identify with friends who have the same values and interests. Creating friendships with others like themselves will help avoid peer pressure, or at the least, they can have a buddy to help support against peer pressure.

2. Buddy System. Once your children have found some friends that are like-minded, teach them about supporting each other in these situations. It’s much easier for a child to say “no” when others are willing to also say “no”.

3. Walk Away. This may be the hardest to do, but it’s important to teach a child that walking away instead of giving in is taking the high road, even if it may not feel like it at the time.

4. Open Communication. Establish good communication with your children so that they know they can approach you when things become difficult or when peer pressure situations occur. Listening is more important in these situations than immediately reacting, so listen, and then ask them how they feel about the situation and what they think would be the right thing to do.

Peer pressure can begin at an early age and with social media adding more opportunity for kids to experience peer pressure virtually, it’s important to teach kids early. The earlier you begin educating your kids, building self-confidence, and helping them establish a good set of values, the better off they will be when it comes to peer pressure situations.

Farrell's Martial Arts Kicker LogoTKD Tip: Teaching about peer pressure is also a good time for children to learn about consequences. Many times peer pressure situations could lead to severe consequences, such as missing out on a sporting activity, getting behind in school, and even getting involved with law enforcement. Ask your kids to put together scenarios of peer pressure and what consequences could happen if they went through with it. This may enlighten them to look beyond the act itself and to see how it may not be a good idea.


Location Info

Beaverdale School         Waukee School
2706 Beaver Ave.            215 N. Warrior Lane
Des Moines, IA 50310       Waukee, IA 50263
515-255-0095                  515-978-3000