Getting in with the 'wrong crowd'Once they reach secondary school and start to socialise more, the chances of your child being exposed to temptations increase. They'll probably come across kids who will try to 'lead them astray' and who will make misbehaving look cool. Talk to them about the dangers of alcohol, smoking and drugs (see more on these subjects on this site). Ask them how they would deal with a situation that they didn't feel comfortable with, if they were offered a cigarette or alcohol or drugs, for example. Talk through ways that they can handle it.
Try some acting togetherIt may sound daft but role-play acting is a great way for your child to think through ways of dealing with unwanted attention from their peers. Talk to your child about what situations worry them and tell them what worries you. Then, you start the role-play by pretending to be a bully or another kid offering them alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. Or pretend to be someone threatening your child with a knife. Let your child act out how they would respond. Role-play will help them make their own decisions on what they should do, rather than of you just lecturing them.
Need more help?www.kidscape.org.uk a charity that can help your child to cope with bullying and abuse 020 7730 3300
Parentline plus Helpline 0808 800 2222 www.parentlineplus.org.uk
Raising Kids www.raisingkids.co.uk
Childline 0800 1111
Talk to Frank help for youngsters on drugs and alcohol 0800 776600 www.talktofrank.com