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Balancing Act

Balancing Act Archives
August, 2006: Family Snack Smarts
July, 2006: Cooperative Co-parenting
June, 2006: Street Proofing Teens 101
May, 2006: Harmony is in season: Harmony is in season: Warm Weather Activities To Bring The Family Together
April, 2006: Caregiving: Sensible Steps To Success
March, 2006: Healthy Eating In A Fast Food World
February, 2006: Stress Busters to Stay Lighthearted
January, 2006: Brain Gain in Life's Later Years
December, 2005: Holiday Budget Planning
November, 2005: Combating Childhood Obesity
October, 2005: Eating Away at Colds and Flu
September, 2005: Avoiding the Aches of Osteoarthritis
August, 2005: Growing Older, Eating Wiser
July, 2005: Nutrition Tips for the Healthiest Summer Ever
June, 2005: Long-Term Care Facilities/Nursing Homes - How Do I Choose the Right One?
May, 2005: Nutrition and Your Baby: Introducing solid food to the menu
April, 2005: When Baby Comes Home For The First Time
March, 2005: Stepping into the Role of Stepparent
February, 2005: Pumping Fitness into Your Day
* January, 2005: Remedies for Financial Holiday Hangovers
* December, 2004: Time Out: Making the most of the holidays
* November, 2004: An Ounce of Prevention: Type 2 Diabetes
* October, 2004: Dealing with Peer Pressure
* September, 2004: Long Distance Caregiving
* August, 2004: The ‘Be-tween’ Transition, 2004
* July, 2004: Easing into summer vacation
* June, 2004: A family-friendly balance for working fathers
* May, 2004: Communication Tips to Help Young Minds Grow
* April, 2004: Tips for Making the Tax Season Less Taxing
* March, 2004: The Dieting Merry-Go-Round
* February, 2004: Keeping Your Financial Future in Check
* January, 2004: Here Comes the Flu
* December, 2003: Communicating with your Teen
* November, 2003: Eating for Energy
* October, 2003: Work-life Balance: Making it Work for You
* September, 2003: The Homework Zone
* August, 2003: Health Hints to Ease Your Family in to the Fall Season
* July, 2003: Stay Alert and Stay Safe - Streetproofing your kids
* June, 2003: Summer Activities for Stay-at-Home Kids
* May, 2003: Helping Older Relatives Stay Active
* April, 2003: Spring-cleaning: For the home, the family, and you
* March, 2003: Choosing a Summer Camp
* February, 2003: Baby couch potatoes: Tearing your kids away from the TV
* January, 2003: Resolution Solutions
* December, 2002: Holiday Stress Blasters
* November, 2002: Beating the Winter Blues
* October, 2002: Making the most of family mealtimes
* September, 2002: Generation Relations
* August 2002: Vacation Relaxation
* July 2002: Swimming Safety
* May 2002: Stuck in the Middle. The Sandwich Generation
* April, 2002: Supporting Your Child's Social Success
* March, 2002: After the Spring Break ... Take a Break For Yourself
* February, 2002: Keep those loving connections alive
* January, 2002: Ringing in a Balanced New Year
* December, 2001: Holiday Safety Tips
* November, 2001: It's Flu Season
* October, 2001: Halloween Safety Tips
* September, 2001: Back to school

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Dealing with Peer Pressure

With another school year well underway, children are already being exposed to new ideas and new opportunities. They are also being exposed to friends and peers whose influence can be a very powerful force in their life. This is a natural part of growing up, and sometimes a good thing. For example, children whose friends are high achievers at school might be influenced towards achievement themselves. However when a child’s experience doesn’t have a positive effect, (specifically when a child encounters negative peer pressure) he or she can stumble upon some uncomfortable situations.

The good new is, research shows that parents have far more influence than friends when it comes to moral values. So while it’s impossible to shield your children from the peer pressure of what clothes to wear or what music to listen to, it is possible to guide them towards making decisions that can keep them safe and out of harm’s way. Below are a few suggestions that may help:

Create and maintain an open line of communication. Encourage your children to be open and to share their feelings with you. Be respectful of your children, and try to avoid ‘talking down to them.’ Frequent communication with your children can have a strong impact, and demonstrate that you care about their thoughts and feelings.

Set a good example. Remember as you interact as a family that children pay more attention to your behaviour than you may think. Child psychiatrists and authors will often point out that what children become has a lot to do with the example set by those who raise them. Specifically, children often learn through the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ method.

Encourage your children to be assertive. Encourage your children to stand up for what they believe in, even if their ideas may differ from others. One of the hardest things for children to do, is to speak out against popular opinion when they believe something ‘doesn’t seem quite right.’ Let your children know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that they can agree or disagree with someone and still be respected.

Get to know your children’s friends. Make an effort to get to know your children’s friends. Encourage your children to have their friends over for dinner or invite them along on a family outing. This gives you a chance to learn more about your own children’s interests and to better understand how they interact with their peers.

Praise your child for doing the right thing. Express your admiration to your children for their independent thinking and speaking out even when they know that their point of view may not be the ‘popular opinion’ of others.

Set ground rules. Believe it or not, children crave rules from their parents. Setting reasonable and clear boundaries concerning curfews, household chores and social activities, will show your children that you have expectations of them. When setting these rules, clearly discuss the rewards or consequences of following or breaking these rules with your children.

Need more information in helping your children cope with peer pressure? WS Family MattersTM can help. It’s a resource and referral service that is geared toward enhancing the quality of family life. Call your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to see if you are eligible for WS Family Matters at 1 800.387.4765 for service in English, 1 800.361.5676 for service in French.

This newsletter is meant for informational purposes only and may not necessarily represent the views of individual organizations.

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© 2005 WarrenShepell