Creative Child

8 Ways to Help your Child Fight Peer Pressure

by Deborah Song

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3. Don’t put all of their friends in one basket.

Encourage your child to make more than one group of friends through activities outside of school or in other community settings. That way, if taking a stand means losing a group of friends, he’ll have other friends to reach out to.

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4. Help your child find an adult friend.

Despite the proliferation of technology, our youth culture is increasingly more isolated. Kids these days don’t have the sort of connection they need from adults around them. In his book, “The We Generation,” Dr. Michael Ungar reveals that having a connection with at least one caring adult or role model, other than a parent, has helped children become more resilient. For more on this topic, read 9 Life Skills Every Child Should Learn.

5. Nurture a talent.

Developing a skill or a talent is a great way to build self-confidence. Not to mention that it gives your child a constructive outlet. Whatever that outlet is, whether it’s sports, music or crocheting, your child will also likely form a community of friends through the activity. Resisting peer pressure is also about having a healthy self-concept. If your child can feel good about herself by nurturing a skill or talent, your child will not only have one more armor against peer pressure, but they’ll have one more way to offer something to the world one day.

6. Anticipate peer pressure.

Talk to your child about the challenges he may face from friends who pressure him into doing something he doesn’t like. One way to help our children anticipate the pressures they will face is to help them decide in advance. For example: "A group of friends decide to steal. What would you do?"

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7. Applaud your child's good choices.

When your child does make the right choice, take notice and applaud him for it. Receiving affirmation from parents provides the reassurance that he’s made the right choice and encourages him to do the same next time.

8. Teach as you go.

With a force as pervasive and powerful as peer pressure, mistakes are expected. When, not if, your child does succumb to peer pressure, gently discuss what went wrong. As you deal with these failures, remember that some good testing of convictions is exactly what you want to occur when your child is young enough to still guide, correct and instruct.

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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