As long as the sun has been shining on the earth, teens have had to endure peer pressure as a normal rite of passage. Whether it be sex, drugs, alcohol, stealing, or whatever teens are going for in the moment, most teens have been pressured with doing something that they do not want to do but may do it anyways to keep from appearing less than cool. In order to feel accepted, some teens are searching for a place to belong, friendship, self-confidence, and their own image. They will often look for these things at the hands of others who might impress onto them the wrong type of guidance. While fighting for their own independence in a world that is foreign to them, teens will seek approval with misguided people whose actions and words may lead them into the wrong direction. You as the parent have ways to assist your teen into making better decisions regarding peer pressure that will be beneficial for both of you.
Talk to your teen about what peer pressure is.
Before another person can get to your teen, it is better that you talk to them first. Teaching them right from wrong is a no-brainer for parents but advising them about what peer pressure means to them can add another level of protection that can help them to say no in situations that seem sketchy or uncomfortable. Talking to them about drugs, alcohol, sex, or morale is important so they can hear your opinion and comprehend the open door to come back to ask questions and talk about their concerns with you.
Keep a laid back perspective when talking to your teenager.
If you seem overly paranoid so will they. When you seem like you are up in arms about what is happening to them in regard to peer pressure, they will keep you out of the loop to refrain from upsetting you or to impede you from criticizing them when they are afraid. Your kids will continue to say things that may not want to hear for their entire life. You should start practicing now to focus on the conversation at hand and help them with the solution that they need.
Offer your teen responses as a way to negate peer pressure.
Beat the oppressor at their own game. If you set your teen up with ways to just say no before they are put in the position of peer pressure, you will be setting them up for success. Giving them a defense to avoid conflict will help them out tremendously and give them the confidence that they need to be comfortable in their own skin. Providing a solid foundation with your kid before peer pressure starts can give them appropriate ways to express themselves without giving in to what they do not really want to do.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center leads the way with progressive, evidence-based programming to most effectively treat each individual adolescent while focusing on the uniqueness of each client. Healing the mind, the body, and the spirit as one in the same can make the biggest difference in staying sober.
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