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Hi my name is Dr. Marian C Fritzemeier and I'm an education and child development specialist. I've accumulated many years speaking, writing, consulting and teaching both in the classroom and for parenting audiences. I believe the parenting process can be a fantastic and overwhelmingly fun journey with the right plan in mind. Need some help with that plan? Then you've come to the right place.

Monday, December 23, 2013

10 Parental Roles in Reducing School Age Children's Negative Peer Pressure, Tips 8, 9, & 10

Dr. Marian C. Fritzemeier, Ed.D. © 2013
Author, Speaker, Educator
This is the last of a five blog series on parents' roles in reducing negative peer pressure for school age children. Today we'll look at tips 8, 9 and 10.  
Suspending Judgment. The eighth tip is suspending judgment when your child confides in you about his/her peers.1 Sometimes the “friend” is actually the child him or herself so watch what you say. Your goal is to learn more about the situation by keeping communication open. Become an expert on asking open-ended questions. For example, “Sounds like Matthew's really struggling. What could you do to help him through this tough time?”
Ignore Shocking Statements. Closely related is tip nine, ignore shock value statements. Sometimes it feels like kids just want to push your buttons, but what they're actually doing is figuring out what they believe. For example, a child who is raised in a church might say, "I don't want to go to church anymore. I don’t think there's really a God."

Overreacting? Most parents tend to over react. "How can you say that after all we've taught you?" A better response is, “Tell me what you’re thinking about.” Help the child reach his or her own conclusions. Eventually, children need to take on their own personal beliefs and values. Over reacting will only push them away.

Warning Signs. The last tip is looking for signs that peer pressure is becoming a problem. If you notice attitude changes; withdrawal; sudden materialism; and/or intense interest in "taboo" behaviors or possessions, you may want to consider professional help.2 Often these indicators are beyond parents' skills and expertise. Using some or all of these parenting tips will help your school age child deal with negative peer pressure.

Next Blog: Positive Peer Pressure

  1. When Peer Pressure is Good For Your Child, Carolyn Hoyt, Good Housekeeping, Women.com Networks, Inc.
  2. Peer Pressure: Why it seems worse than ever and how to help kids resist it, Malia Jacobson, August 29, 2013, www.parentmap.com. Accessed 10/5/2013.
  3. Image from: Stock.XCHNG www.sxc.hu/ top-secret-637885-m. Accessed 4/18/2014.

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