Successfully reported this slideshow.

Helping adolescents deal with peer pressure


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

Helping adolescents deal with peer pressure

  1. 1. Helping Adolescents Deal with Peer Pressure *Developed by the Center for School Mental Health ( in collaboration with the Maryland School Mental Health Alliance.
  2. 2. Contents     Peer Pressure Tips for Educators and Related Staff Positive vs. Negative Peer Pressure How to identify a troubled child  Warning signs  Strategies to Help Children  Skill building activities  Communication  How to Say No  *Actual programs to implement in schools? CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  3. 3. Pressures  Transition into middle school and becoming a teenager can be very challenging for children. Some changes include added pressures from friends and peers.  Pressures are a normal part of life and children need guidance from their teachers, parents and other adults so that they are able to handle these pressures in a positive way.  Some of these pressures may be drugs, truancy, sex, shop-lifting, bullying, cheating, and any other action that a child may not want to do. CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  4. 4. What you can do?  Make students aware of some of the pressures they may encounter  Demonstrate the difference between positive and negative peer pressure  Provide suggestions and strategies to help children deal with peer pressure CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  5. 5. Positive vs. Negative Peer Pressure Negative Peer Pressure- Positive Peer Pressure- Is often dangerous and against school rules, home rules and personal values. Is often overlooked but does exist and may be described as an influence to do what is right. • • • • • • • Skipping school Vandalizing Smoking Sneaking out of the house Bullying Disrespecting authority Sex • • • • • Studying Volunteering Befriending someone Community Service Joining a sports team CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  6. 6. Identifying Students Traits putting students at a higher risk of falling to peer pressure          Low self esteem Lack of confidence Uncertainty about ones place within a given peer group No personal interests exclusive of one's peer group Feeling isolated from peers and/or family Lack of direction in life Depression Eating disorders Poor academic abilities or performance Retrieved on January 3rd, 2007 from CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  7. 7. Helping Children Deal with Peer Pressure Steps children can follow when confronted with peer pressure:  Ask Questions “Why would we do that ?”, “Whose idea was this ?”, “Is this a smart thing to do ?”  Identify the negative behavior or action  “Calling her names is just going to start trouble”, “ don’t think smoking is a good idea”, “It is against school policy to leave the grounds”.  Evaluate the consequences  “We will get in trouble”, “Smoking is not healthy”, “My parents will take away my allowance” CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  8. 8. Steps continued:  Suggest an alternative  “Why don’t we go to the store after school is over”  Leave the situation  If all else fails, remove yourself from the situation. Walk away and do something else CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  9. 9. Positive and Healthy Ways to Deal with Pressures  Strategies for students to use: • Make a joke and change the subject • Say “no” and keep saying “no” • Leave the area • Get help from someone you trust • Suggest a different activity • Hang out with others who share your beliefs Help students develop decision making skills CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  10. 10. Strategies to help children deal 1. Relinquish the stereotype of peers as a uniformly negative influence on youth. 2. Nurture teenagers' abilities and self-esteem so they can forge positive peer relationships 3. Empower parents and educators to help teenagers pursue and maintain positive peer relationships 4. Encourage cross-ethnic and "cross-class" peer interactions and guide teenagers in dealing positively with cultural diversity and individual differences. CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  11. 11. Strategies to help children deal 5. Place sensible restraints on part-time teen employment 6. Support parent education programs for families with teenagers 7. Establish intervention programs for preadolescents with low social skills or aggressive tendencies. CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  12. 12. Bullying  Bullying can become a major problem for some students and often students are pressured to involve themselves in these situations  It is important to identify and attempt to rectify these situations as they interfere with your students’ learning and development and potentially affect the overall functioning of your classroom.  Any child can fall victim to being bullied and any child has the potential to be the bully CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  13. 13. Steps towards an action plan for Bullying 1. Teachers must make it safe for students to report bullying  Students must trust that teachers and administrators will respect the anonymity of the student who reports information 2. Educators and related staff must be aware of all forms of bullying. Identifying intentions of bullying are:  There is a power difference  There is a negative intention  The behavior is repeated 3. There must be a clear and effective plan for dealing with the bully and the victim. Students must know the consequences of bullying. Retrieved on February 5th 2007 from: CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  14. 14. Steps Continued 4. School personnel must know about the different types of bullies. Some victims are also bullies. 5. An effective tool for dealing with bullying is utilizing the masses who aren’t involved in bullying situations. These students can take a stand and prevent bullying incidents. Retrieved on February 5th 2007 from: CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  15. 15. Possible Signs of Bullying: Watch for changes in the students behavior:         Unwilling to go to school Feeling ill in the morning Withdrawal behavior Decrement in school performance Having books or clothing destroyed Truancy Stammering Becoming aggressive or unreasonable For more information go to: CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  16. 16. What can you do to help? • Model pro-social behavioral that asserts self-worth of each individual student • Actively observe student behavior in the classroom • Speak with parents to see if additional stressors at home contribute to the bullying dynamic • Include discussions of conflict-resolution in your lesson plan CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  17. 17. What can you do? • Ask school clinicians to present on consequences of bullying • Become familiar with the bulling prevention curriculum in the school • If there isn’t one, start incorporating bullying curriculum in your lesson plans including knowledge, attitudes, and skill development pertaining to bullying • Role play in the classroom to help students develop refusal skills CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  18. 18. What can you do? • Suggest that students stay together and walk in groups when traveling to and from school and when outside during recess or lunch • Meet with school administrators and help develop a bullying policy to implement school wide. More information can be obtained from Dr. Ken Rigby at CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  19. 19. Tips/Facts to help with Bullying  Understanding why children bully / victimize others is of key importance in initiating change of this behavior  Make it known that bullying and victimizing is not acceptable in your school and must be stopped  Managing bullying requires that the bullying behavior be firmly admonished and controlled  Counseling is essential and should be compulsory Retrieved on February 12th 2007 from, created by Jenny MacKay of Educational Consultations: Australia Great Britain 1995 CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  20. 20. Tips and Facts Continued  Children who bully / victimize need to see themselves differently, with opportunities to behave differently  The victim also needs to learn to act differently and be given opportunities to shine and show strength  Bullying and victimization require that the school, the teacher, the parent, the peers, but most importantly the child (bully and victim), take responsibility to learn to act differently Retrieved on February 12th 2007 from, created by Jenny MacKay of Educational Consultations: Australia Great Britain 1995 CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  21. 21. Useful Books and Online Resources  Olweus Bullying Prevention Program  Take Action Against Bullying  Steps to Respect: A Bully Prevention Program  Blueprints for Violence Prevention: Book 9. Bullying Prevention Program (1999). By D. Olweus, S.Limber, & S.F. Mihalic; Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence  Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Intervention for Bullying and Victimization (1996) By Richard J. Hazler CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  22. 22. Resources Continued • How to Say No and Keep your Friends: Peer Pressure Reversal for Teens and Pre-Teens (1997). By Sharon Scott •CAFS Teacher Talk Volume 1(3) 1996 •Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do (2003). By Jim Wright •Stop Bullying Now! CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  23. 23. Resources Continued  Resource for parents: CSMH-MSMHA 2006
  24. 24. *Developed by the Center for School Mental Health ( in collaboration with the Maryland School Mental Health Alliance.