Children influence each other at school, both positively and negatively. It is important to teach them how to handle peer pressure and how to make those tough decisions.

  1. Model good behaviour at home

Good behaviour is home made. Children watch and copy the actions of adults more than they will listen to what we say. Through your actions, teach them to be polite, respectful and honest individuals. Parents and caregivers can be instrumental in raising well rounded individuals by using their own experience and guiding them through different stages of growth. This creates a solid and stable reference point of right and wrong. Be specific about the undesirable behaviours, talk about drugs, smoking and alcohol and their consequences.

  1. Teach Children Self-Love and Respect

Children, who learn to love and respect themselves from a young age, are less likely to engage in self-destructive behaviour when they grow older. Instead, they are more likely to stand proud of who they are and firm in what they believe in despite what their peers may be doing.

  1. Teach your children how to say No

This is an important life skill that will serve them in the long run. Teach them to trust their instincts and to be assertive and make the right choices as opposed to group think or ascribing to popularity. It is important for children to know that it is better to be isolated and safe than popular and in trouble and that it is okay to stand alone sometimes.

  1. Communicate with your children

Stay abreast with their activities in and outside of school, be actively involved in their lives and talk to them all the time. Children who are close to their parents are most likely to resist peer pressure. Help them solve their problems and offer encouragement. Establish reasonable rules and ensure they are aware of consequences of breaking these.

  1. Know your child’s friends

Get a more detailed description of who your child’s friends are, where they are from and what activities they take part in. This will help you paint a picture of what happens at school, and whether or not it leans towards acceptable behaviour. Ask your children to invite their friends over and that way you get to know their parents, their values and beliefs

6. Encourage positive activities. Challenge your child to be good to other children and encourage their friends to be a good influence on your child, applaud and reward your children when they behave well, to encourage them. Sign your children up to afterschool classes and activities to cut out on idle time, to help build positive and healthy friendships and to boost their self-esteem.

7. Report any unusual behaviour or suspicions to the school authorities so they can nip any eventualities in the bud.

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