Ben Lippen Stories

How To Protect Your Middle Schooler From Peer Pressure

If you’re a parent of a rising or current middle schooler, you are well aware of the challenges your child is facing. There are the physical changes brought by puberty and emotional changes due to shifting hormones. Social changes also happen with their growing desire to belong… which can lead to peer pressure.

What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘peer pressure’? Perhaps, it’s being asked to do something your child doesn’t want to do. It could also be the thought of your preteen wishing to be a part of a group and going down the slippery slope of compromising one’s values. Below, you’ll find valuable strategies that will equip you and your child to navigate the challenges of peer pressure with confidence.

How To Overcome Peer Pressure: A Guide for Parents

Discuss what makes a good friend, in light of God’s Word.

At this stage in life, friendships increasingly matter to your child. They want to be a part of a group where they’ll feel accepted, recognized, and valued for who they are. It’s important to remind them how to identify a good friend within the context of God’s Word.

Share with your child that a true friend displays the following traits:

  • Mirroring godly values. True friends display kindness, understanding, respect, and a love for God — these relationships will not lead them astray (Proverbs 12:26).
  • Empathizing with each others’ needs. Those who know how to respond to your child’s needs and do what they can to help are what make good friends.
  • Accepting and loving. Healthy friendships are built on trust and acceptance. Remind your child that true friends will not judge them for what they are not willing to do.

Provide an environment that cultivates Christ-centered values.

Protecting your preteen doesn’t mean you can shelter them from all the challenges that they may face in middle school. Rather, you’re showing them that there exists a community where they can build healthy friendships with people who reflect the values you teach at home. 

At Ben Lippen School, middle schoolers flourish in an environment that cultivates values that mirror Christ’s love through:

  • A biblical worldview curriculum. Every part of our education at Ben Lippen School is anchored in God’s Word. Students are taught to love others as they love themselves and reminded that their actions should reflect His Spirit.
  • Chapel and faith-fueled groups. Chapel time provides middle schoolers the spiritual nourishment they need, while small group discussions give them insight and encouragement from like-minded peers.
  • Positive culture. We prioritize the emotional and physical well-being of our students. At Ben Lippen School, students are mentored to care for others, emphasizing a culture of unity and respect.

Searching for Christian schools in Columbia, South Carolina?
Explore how our faith-based community at Ben Lippen School brings out the best in middle schoolers. Learn More.

Encourage open communication about your child’s concerns.

Middle school is when your preteen needs your support more than ever. Overreacting by showing anger or downplaying your child’s concerns will prevent them from having a genuine connection with you.

When your preteen shows signs that they are being pressured by friends or would like to know how to navigate a situation where they are asked to do things they’re uncertain about, embrace the opportunity for dialogue.

This can be done by asking open-ended questions (“What do you think…?”, “How did you feel…?”) and gently guiding them towards a Christ-centered response to the situation.

Remind them of their identity in the Lord.

Peer pressure can come in many forms and situations. Your preteen might not experience peer pressure in school, but it could surface elsewhere in clubs, social events, or other settings.

Thus, it’s important to remind them of the all-encompassing nature of their identity in Christ. That identity does not bend with other people’s approval or messages being thrown in popular media.

Remind your middle schooler that their identity is anchored in the Lord, which means:

  • They are God’s children. They are loved, chosen, and forgiven — no group of friends, clubs, or activities can surpass their identity with God calling your child His own.
  • They are redeemed. As God’s chosen ones, we are bought with a price. Obedience (to parents and toward God) is a way to show love and gratitude for that redemption.
  • They are ambassadors of His Kingdom. They represent Christ. The things they say or do should reflect who God is, both to believers and non-believers.

​​Peer pressure will likely be inevitable, but there are ways to navigate these situations with godly wisdom. With these biblical insights, you’ll set a strong foundation for your child to say “no” when needed and to influence others for His glory.

Looking for a private Christian middle school in Columbia, SC?

As you continue your search for the best middle school in Columbia, SC, we invite you to discover the Christ-centered community at Ben Lippen School. Learn more about how we teach faith-filled values and provide opportunities for spiritual growth by scheduling a tour or requesting information with our admissions team.

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