contact a child encounters. Parents who actively engage in quality time with their children help them develop close relationships and appropriate boundaries.
Stay connected and involved in your child’s social life. Yes, involved. Get to know and encourage friendships in positive social settings. Know where they are and what they are doing.
Ask questions and have conversations about their day not just academically but socially as well.
BE emotionally invested in their life. Your child must feel and experience that you care about their social connections and activities with their peers.
Other things to consider
It is also important to note that peer pressure can come forms other than the friends they make at school. What you allow your children to watch, listen to, etc. can also play a role in whether or not they fall victim to peer pressure. You can monitor these influences by:
- Limiting your child’s exposure to TV and the internet. Consider your child’s age and other responsibilities (homework, job, family time) to decide on how much time he or she should be allowed to watch TV or explore the internet.
- Monitoring what your child watches or views on the internet. Ratings are available for TV, movies, and video games. You can see your child’s internet search history on a computer. You can also check your child’s phone to see what apps he or she has downloaded.
- Learning more about the music your child listens to. Some song lyrics can send powerful, negative messages.
- Securing your home’s TV and online devices. Most cable, internet, and cell phone providers have parent control settings that restrict inappropriate material from children. Be sure to find out what’s available in your home and with your child’s phone.
- Monitoring your child’s electronic use at their friend’s homes or when friends bring electronic devices to your home (laptops, tablets, phones). Talk with their parents. Tell your child what is and what is not allowed.
Kimberly Thomas, Ed. D. in Counseling Psychology is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in Partner Violence Intervention, Substance Use Disorders, and Anger Management. Her volunteer work includes helping build faith-based community programs, workshops, and community awareness campaigns. When Dr. Thomas is not working, she enjoys being a mother, singing and attending retreats.