How to Deal with Peer Pressure

Confidently and Assertively

It can be really tempting to do everything you can to fit in with your friends. But if you don't feel comfortable, it's okay to say "no" and make your own choices.

You cannot talk about any kind of substance misuse in isolation, there are many factors that lead to bad decisions.  Life Skills Education programmes deal with many of these, including how to deal with peer pressure from friends and outside influences.

When it comes to pressures around alcohol and other drug use, most young people overestimate how many of their peers drink or use drugs.  We emphasise this with appropriate, accurate and up to date facts about their peer group and information which enables children to learn about the health effects which drugs have on the human body. 

All of the Life Skills Education programmes use our unique DARE Decision Making Model which empowers young people to make safe and healthy choices, combined with activities around communication, body language and managing stressful situations.


Manging peer pressure is usually not that difficult if you are only surrounded by people whose values, preferences, and behaviors are similar to yours.

Children are extremely vulnerable to peer pressure and don’t know the facts about drugs and alcohol – they are often unaware of how to communicate effectively, or deal with risky situations. Schools have a responsibility to ensure children leave fully equipped for transition to secondary school/adolescence and all that entails and to ensure that they will be able to make safe and healthy choices.

Some helpful tips to avoid the pitfalls that can result from intense peer pressure:

  • Spend time with those who resist peer pressure
  • Learn how to be assertive
  • Ask for help if necessary
  • Get out of the situation
  • Choose friends carefully
  • Use delay tactics
  • Provide your own positive pressure
  • Go with your gut.

Some helpful resources around how to deal with peer pressure

Parent Zone

Parent Zone are the experts in digital family life. We provide support and information to parents, children and schools.

Families Online

Richmond mother and parenting coach, Alison Banks explains why peer pressure has so much influence on children and young people.


The BBC Online website has a large number of resources surrounding issues of peer pressure, bullying and other relevant topics.


Childline is a service provided by NSPCC Weston and they have a whole section on how to deal with peer pressure.

Find Out More

Learn about how the DARE Primary programme can help.

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