7 Ways to deal with peer pressure

What exactly is peer pressure and why do children give in to it? Here are 7 ways to deal with peer pressure that will give you the courage to say NO.

Someone has said that the one magic key to personal fulfillment may be forever illusive, but the sure key to failure is to try to please everyone. 


What is peer pressure? Peers are people who form part of the same social group. Peer pressure is a feeling that you must do the same things as other people in your age and social group to be favoured or respected by them. Although peer pressure does not necessarily have to be negative, the word pressure suggests that the process influences you to do things that you are normally opposed to.

Therefore the term peer pressure is normally used regarding behaviours that are not considered socially acceptable or desirable. Peer pressure causes children to do things they would not normally do. Sadly, this can include experimenting with smoking, sex, alcohol and drugs.

Here are 7 ways to deal with peer pressure that will build your self-confidence and believe in yourself so that you don’t need to impress other people or do what others say to feel good or accepted.

How to say no to peer pressure and not feel guilty about it!

7 ways to deal with peer pressure

Healthy self-esteem. Will help your child to deal with peer pressure. When you have low or negative self-esteem, you put little value on your opinions and ideas. Peers will focus on your weaknesses and faults and that can lead to risky behaviour trying to find favour or be accepted.

When you have healthy self-esteem you have a balanced and accurate view of yourself and a good idea of your abilities but still have the sense to recognize your weaknesses. When you value yourself and have good self-esteem, you feel secure and worthwhile.

With healthy self-esteem, you will never follow followers. You will be accountable in word and deed for what you say and you will know the past is the past and the present is the present. When you improve your self-esteem and have respect for yourself, you are less likely to succumb to peer pressure. 

Here are 7 ways to deal with peer pressure that will build your self-confidence and believe in yourself so that you don’t need to impress other people or do what others say to feel good or accepted.

1. Help your child to develop mental strength. Mentally strong children are prepared for any challenge. Mental strength isn’t about acting tough or suppressing emotions. Mentally strong children are resilient and they have the courage and confidence to reach their full potential. Mentally strong children can tackle problems and they know how to deal and learn from failure.

Children need a strong moral compass to help them make healthy decisions. Always emphasize the importance of compassion and honesty. Understanding their values will help your child to make healthy choices in life. This is all part of building a strong character.

Teach your child specific skills such as self-discipline and problem-solving skills. This will help your child learn to behave sustainingly. Teach your child that mistakes are part of the learning process. Help your child to develop a realistic, yet optimistic, outlook in life. Combining the two into one behavioural style of realistic optimism creates a special kind of very successful young people.

Children will from time to time feel sorry for themselves. Teach them gratitude so that even on bad days, they will see that they have much to be thankful for. Gratitude can boost your child’s mood and encourage dynamic problem-solving. Teach your child to accept personal responsibility. When they make mistakes or are disobedient, allow for explanations, but NOT excuses like trying to shift the blame. 

Teach them to deal with painful emotions. Children who recognize their feelings and know how to deal with them will be ready to deal with challenges. Become a role model by showing your child how to be mentally strong by making self-improvement and mental strength a priority in your own life.



2. A firm, yet courteous NO. If parents lay a solid foundation in helping your children build healthy self-esteem and mental strength, the following method and characteristic will become a natural trait for your child. How to say no! 

Saying no thanks, starts with a mindset change. It starts by putting your needs first. Don’t be a people pleaser. Don’t just say yes to avoid conflict or awkwardness because you want people around you to be happy.

There are many ways to say no, but rather say no straight away if you know you’re not going to do it. Don’t procrastinate. They might call you scared or chicken, but stay firm in your decision.

Saying no is firmly connected to fearlessness and will earn you respect from yourself and people around you.

3. Make the right choice. Our lives are full of decisions, and bad ones can lead to regret. Teach your children to always visualize their future. “Every choice comes with a consequence. Once you make a choice, you must accept responsibility. You cannot escape the consequences of your choices, whether you like them or not.”- Roy T. Bennett. Parents, the key to helping your children make the best decisions involves providing plenty of guidance, without overdoing it. A child’s developing brain places them at greater risk of being receptive in their decision-making, and less able to consider the consequences of their choices. Always remind your children to ask for help. They don’t have to make choices alone.

4Choose your friends wisely. If your children have friends with good values and good self-esteem, they will stay away from risky behaviour, and resist unwanted peer pressure. Children will naturally look to parents and their choice of friends as a standard for their own choices. Being a role model also means showing your child how healthy friendships look by being a good friend yourself. Good friends want the best for you and will be there in good and bad times. Good friends don’t put you in situations that make you feel uncomfortable but they accept your ‘no’ because they value you and your opinion.

5. Avoid temptation & stressful situations. Why do things that are actually bad for you always look so good and tempting? Everyone is vulnerable. Most children really do want to do what’s right, but everyone will be tempted at some point. Children often say that their parents don’t trust them, but as your child gets older, it’s not a matter of lack of trust, but rather an awareness of what can happen, the possible dangers and temptations.

Dear parents, take time to make your children aware that in certain situations there could be the temptation to engage in risky and dangerous behaviour. By keeping away from situations where self-control could fail, children can steer clear of possible negative, costly consequences, for example, if you know there’s going to be alcohol or drugs at a party, make other plans. 


6. Talk to your child about drugs. Safe guard them against drug use by giving them the facts before they’re land in a risky situation. When children don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents, they’ll seek answers elsewhere, even if their sources are unreliable.

Children who are trying to figure out their place in the world sometimes tend to give their friends’ opinions a great deal of power. Make sure your child knows your rules and the consequences if rules are broken. Children are less likely to use nicotine, alcohol and other substances if their parents have established a pattern of setting clear rules and consequences.

Feelings of insecurity, doubt and pressure may creep in during puberty. Counterbalance those feelings with a lot of positive comments about your child’s character and strengths. Help your children separate reality from fantasy.

Children need to hear lot’s of positive comments about their lives, who they are as individuals and all of the wonderful things they have to look forward to if they are healthy and safe.

Sports is one the most effective ways of keeping teens out of trouble and help guide them to a better future


7. Last, but not least. A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study found that students who did not participate in sport were 57% more likely to have dropped out of high school by their senior year, 49% more likely to have used drugs, 37% more likely to have become teen parents, 35% more likely to have smoked cigarettes, and 27% more likely to have been arrested.

Sport can contribute tremendously to improving young people’s physical and psychological health. Using sports to help young people, has proven to be an effective tool in keeping them from of anti-social behaviour, violence, crime and drug use.

Competitive swimmers for example only do the following: swim, eat, sleep and swim. 

Competitive swimmers spend hours at practice each day. Swimming takes time management to another level. They handle year-round 6 days a week training, participate in school activities, traveling to galas, and setting goals for that next personal best time. School, college and working a nine-to-five job one day, may seem like a piece of cake. They learn that success doesn’t happen without a good work ethic. To reach your goals, hard work and dedication are critical. To be dedicated, consistent and to push yourself to achieve goals will get you far in the pool, and general life.

These athletes and thousands of other sporting athletes will rather spend their valuable time to practice hard and put in 100% effort to achieve their goals before being tempted to throw their lives away work by doing silly things.

Unfortunately, we can’t always protect our children from the curveballs that life will unavoidably throw at them, but we can give them the tools to be their best, most true selves so that they can live a happy, strong, and meaningful life.