What are some of the most effective ways to educate children to prevent them from peer pressure, according to a social psychologist? This is for a social pyschology class.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not certain that there is one specific path, but rather multiple elements that have to be combined in an approach to ensure that kids understand the consequences and realities of chocies being made.  The consensus seems to be that the opening of consistent and transparent dialogue between parent and child is essential and vital in resisting the temptation to succumb to peer pressure.  Different approaches are present on how this dialogue should be formed, but the opinion is that in some form, all parents need to have these dialogues with their child, keeping their fingers on the child's social and emotional pulse to ensure that the message is being absorbed.  Social psychologists seem to agree that role playing potential situations and giving kids a "mental rolodex" of rebuttal answers to what to do when confronted in a peer pressure situation for drugs, sex, or other types of destructive behavior is a part of this approach.  Ensuring that parents encourage social interactions of their kids, but help in guiding these is another part of this process.  Finally, involvement in multiple activities as an outlet from the pressurized world of social conformity might be one other avenue that parents and children need to investigate.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From a social standpoint I would say that there are several things that a parent can do to educate their children. Peer pressure can be very tempting. It is very important to children, especially teenagers, that they fit it. I think one very good way to educate children is by beginning when they are very young. One problem that parents make is waiting until the problem already exists. It is good to let them know ahead of time so they know exactly what to expect. Parents should explain to their children the dynamics of social groups in relation to peer pressure. I really think the best thing a parent can do is teach their children to be strong individuals. By doing so, they are teaching their children that is okay to be themselves when they enter the group setting.