The Upside of Peer Pressure

Peer pressure isn't always a bad thing, here's how it can benefit your tween

Parents worry about peer pressure as their children transition from childhood to the tween and teen years. While it's true there are numerous ways peers can encourage dangerous or bad behavior (drug abuse, sex, drinking, smoking, and risky behavior) it's also true that peers can help enforce many of the lessons you've tried to teach your child over the years. Below are a few ways peer pressure can help your tween or teen.

How Peer Pressure Can Benefit Your Tween

Help Your Tween Excel at School: Tweens can be competitive and they don't want to stand out from their peers. If your child's friends are good students that can rub off on your tween. If your child goes to school with responsible students who set academic goals your tween may learn how to better manage his time, stay organized, and even develop leadership skills at school. Encourage your child to pick up on his friends good qualities and to offer help if he sees a friend struggling in a class or with a homework assignment.

Find a Club, Team or Other Activity: Many tweens don't have a particular interest or passion, but having a friend or friends who do can help a child find their niche. A friend may encourage your tween to try out for the school play or sports team, learn a new hobby, or join a club or other after school activity. If your tween suddenly decides to give something new a try, it could be because a friend has encourage him.

Support your tween in his new interests, and stay as involved as you can. Your child may discover a new talent or develop a passion for something that could last a lifetime.

Refrain from Dangerous Behaviors: You can't be with your tween 24 hours a day, and even less so when your child becomes a teenager.

At some point you will have to hope that your tween listened to all the lessons you tried to teach him over the years. If your child has a good friend that friend may be doing your bidding for you while you're not around or while your at work. A good friend may talk your tween out of drinking, smoking or skipping school. Later, a friend may encourage your tween to stay away from an abusive relationship or to walk away from a fight or other confrontation. Try to get to know your child's friends as best as you can. The more you know about them the more you'll know about how your child behaves when you're not around.

Laugh at Disappointment: Growing up is no easy task and there will be times when your child is disappointed, sad, or feels that nothing will ever go his way. A good friend can teach your child to look at the funny side of any situation, shrug off disappointment, and move on. If your child has positive friends you can be certain that their positive attitudes will have a positive impact on your child, even if only a little bit.

Nothing can lift your mood like a good friend with a funny story to tell. Encourage your child to find friends who are positive people and who are good at finding the upside in any situation.

Be a Good Friend: Friendships thrive when both sides support one another through troubled times. If your child has a good friend, he's learning how to be a good friend himself. Let your tween know when his friends are supporting him and how to be there when his friends may need your child's support and advice. Knowing how to be a good friend is a skill your tween will benefit from throughout his life.




Continue Reading