Peer pressure is something your daughter will undoubtedly face as she enters the tween and teen years. Her desire to fit in could cause her to give in to negative peer pressure if she doesn’t have the right tools to know how to deal with it.
Read on to learn more about the different types of peer pressure and how to help your daughter stand strong when others try to get her down.
6 Types of Peer Pressure
It must be pointed out that not all peer pressure is negative. Positive peer pressure could help your daughter work towards better grades or feel encouraged to try out for a team. When your daughter sees others making good choices or aspiring to great goals, then she can be inspired to do the same thing and this kind of peer pressure can help her adopt better behaviors.
Negative peer pressure is when your youth is encouraged to behave in a way that goes against their core values or beliefs.
Spoken peer pressure is when a youth asks, persuades or encourages another to do something specific. If your daughter encounters this kind of peer pressure in a one-on-one situation, then it will be easier for her to stick to her core values. When spoken peer pressure happens in a group setting then the pressure to cave and go along with the group is much stronger.
Unspoken peer pressure happens when your youth is exposed to the behavior of a peer and has to choose if they want to follow along. Unspoken peer pressure can cover a lot of choices your tween will face — everything from the fashion choices of peers, parties attended, to clubs joined. This type of peer pressure can seem sneaky because teens don’t always realize the consequences of their long-term decisions or even that they are following along with peer pressure in the first place.
Direct peer pressure can be either spoken or unspoken. This kind of peer pressure is encountered in situations such as being handed a cigarette or alcohol, or having a neighbor look over at their test during an exam. Direct peer pressure puts your youth on the spot to make a decision about what they will do and stand up for in that moment.
Indirect peer pressure is similar to unspoken peer pressure, both can be sneaky and subtle yet have a strong influence on your youth. Indirect peer pressure has to do with your teen taking negative action on their own in a desire to fit in with the crowd. This could mean spreading gossip, experimenting with drugs or dressing like the cool kids in a desire to be seen as cool.
5 Ways to Resist Peer Pressure
Be Self Confident
Boost your daughters self esteem by pointing out all the good and true things you notice in her. Give her opportunities to grow her self confidence by performing in sports, music or activities that help her grow her strengths and talents. When your daughter is feeling down on herself remind her of all the things she has overcome, accomplished and succeeded at in the past and she will grow in her confidence to face challenges in the future. Let your daughter be her unique self and celebrate it, encourage her to be willing to stand out and be noticed for being one-of-a-kind and she will have confidence to be her true self despite what peer pressure gets thrown at her.
Talk to an Adult
Remind your daughter that you are always available for her and want to help her work through her problems. When she can feel confident that she isn’t alone in facing her troubles then she can face peer pressure backed with your wisdom and help. Remind your daughter that nothing she does could hurt your love for her and she can trust that you will listen and support — even if she has already given in to negative peer pressure and needs help getting out.
Have Strong Core Values and Beliefs
Does your family talk about your core values? Does your family have guiding beliefs that impact your choices? If you do already have those in place then make sure you are talking about them often. Role play ways to stick to your core values and show them what that looks like and why. If your family doesn’t yet have your own core beliefs, start with something simple like the golden rule or a simple list of guidelines to live by that you create together. If your daughter has a clear set of core beliefs, then she has a strong foundation for resisting peer pressure and sticking to her own beliefs instead. When you take a confident girl and give her core values that she believes in and lives by, then she can stand fast in the face of negative peer pressure.
Remind your daughter that she has a voice and her voice matters! Encourage her to speak up when she sees bullying or peer pressure going on. Help her practice the words to say if she encounters negative peer pressure. Remind your daughter that wrong continues only when no one speaks up and that she can make all the difference for herself, her friends and her classroom when she is willing to speak out against negative peer pressure. Her confidence can help other girls make better choices and walk away from the peer pressure as well.
Surround Yourself with Good Friends
Friends are one of the largest influences in a teen girl’s life. Help her to find and surround herself with good friends now so she can be with those that build her up and support her as she heads into her teen years. Teach your daughter how to recognize a good friend and how to be one as well! There is strength in numbers and bullies who use peer pressure tactics are trying to make your daughter feel alone or isolated so that she caves to what “everyone’s doing.” When your daughters friends share some core values and are willing to stand together, then your daughter won’t buy into the lie that “everyone’s doing it” because she will have a circle of friends resisting peer pressure together, refusing to give in to the crowd.