How to help your Teen Battle Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is a dreaded and far too common occurrence in schools around the country.  Many teens are convinced to do unhealthy and sometimes dangerous activities at the urging of others.  Of course, you want your teen to learn to think for himself or herself and to stand up against these powerful pressures.  Consider the following tactics.

Talk to them about peer pressure

Your child should understand what peer pressure is.  Do not assume that they will just understand about it.  You can talk to them about why it happens and what they should do in order to fight against it. Tell them how it is important for them to think for themselves and to make the right decisions.  Talk to them about how a true friend will not tell them to do something that they are uncomfortable with.  Also, make sure that they understand that they can come to you no matter what.  If they get into trouble or do something bad, you still want them to call you rather than being too scared to deal with you. 

Encourage positive relationships with children and discourage unhealthy friendships

You may want to keep on top of the friends that your teen has.  Even if they think they are grown up, they are not, and you are still responsible for them.  You might want to discourage relationships with someone who could be a poor influence such as a teen who has a substance abuse problem and who encourages other teens to partake.  There may be other friends who you think would not pressure your teen and you can encourage relationships like that.  Some parents have even had to take drastic action.  When some teens become so embroiled in peer pressure that they get drug or other bad habits, some parents have actually switched their child’s school or even moved to get them away from that situation.

Practice avoiding peer pressure

Your teen may think that it is “cheesy,” but try a little role playing of avoiding peer pressure.  You can pretend that you are trying to pressure them and have them respond appropriately.  You can then switch roles and you can show what you would do.  Even if they think it is silly, it can give them practice on what they would actually say if faced with this situation.  It can help drive the lesson home.

Peer pressure can be difficult for a teen to face, and you want to make sure they have the necessary tools to overcome it.  Use the above tips to help teach your child to resist this unhealthy influence.