However, parents have a powerful influence on their children that may offset such negative peer pressure. Parents must teach their children how to deal with peer pressure and the best way to do it is to regularly talk with the kids. By keeping an open line of communication, kids can run to their parents for advice when they feel that peer pressure can be too great.
Parents may set clear ground rules to guide the children of what is acceptable or not. For instance, parents can guide their kids on what type of people to befriend, the types who can bring a positive influence in their lives and avoid peers who like to lie, steal, or smoke. It will be easier to deal with peer pressure when the child has friends with values parallel to his who will back him up when he does not want to do something.
Parents can also engage their children in role-playing so that the child is prepared to handle difficult situations. Helping children be at ease with what they can say during such situations goes a long way. For example, an outgoing child may choose to say “Forget it” while a shy child may say “No thanks” when faced with an offer to cut class or smoke cigarettes.
Finally, parents must always give positive encouragement and praises to their children so that the kids can develop a strong self-esteem. Kids who have a strong self-esteem can confidently make decisions even if others find it not cool.