Help Your Child Overcome Peer Pressure
Peer pressure can make the preteen and adolescent years even more difficult as a young person struggles to move from child to adult. As pressure mounts, parents can make a profound impact on their children by encouraging self-confidence and individuality, according to Liza Bonin, clinical psychologist in the Learning Support Center at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Bonin, who also is an assistant professor in pediatrics and psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, offers these pointers for parents:
- Work to keep the parent-child relationship strong so your child will be more likely to turn to you with problems and value your opinions.
- Keep lines of communication open. Refrain from criticizing your child's friends and peers. Listen attentively and reserve judgment.
- Empathize with your child. Show that you know how it feels to want to be accepted by others.
- Don't solve your child's problems. Help them develop problem-solving skills so they can discover their own solutions.