Junior high and high school are probably one of the most difficult periods in life. Your kids are coping with a lot of changes right now. They are transforming from children to adults, developing crushes on that special boy or girl in their class, and noticing the differences between themselves and their peers.

It’s important for parents to reinforce positive values and morals in their children in the face of peer pressure and outside influences. At the end of the day, you as a parent have a huge effect on the choices your kids make outside of the home. Here are some ways to help your kids cope with negative forms of peer pressure.

Talk To Them

Though the US and UK are known as a melting pot of cultures, religions, and people, it is not always easy to be different. Your kids may feel extra pressure to conform to the mainstream of society in order to fit in. Try to understand where they’re coming from, and talk to them about it. Remind them that everyone deserves equal respect, and that school is only a temporary period in life. Make sure you know what’s going on in their lives and at school. If they are being subject to bullying, address it with school officials. Remind them that being different is not wrong and comfort your child.

Teach Them

One great way to help your kids combat the effects of peer pressure is to ensure they are well educated regarding their own culture. Teach them about significant historical events, great people, and the importance of brotherhood. Instill in them pride and self-confidence so that they will not easily be strayed by others.

Involve Their Friends

If your child has several friends from different cultures or even from other countries, invite them over for a share day. Each child or family can present a different aspect of their culture, such as food, clothing, or a bit of history. It’s a great way for your kids to feel proud of their heritage, teach their friends a little bit about their background, and learn about other lifestyles as well.

They Will Get Through This

Children who enjoy familial support are less vulnerable to outside influences like peer pressure. Know their friends, talk to them about their day, and answer any questions or concerns they may have about being different. Not all children fall under the influence of peer pressure; your child can be one of the ones to rise above.

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