Peer pressure is something that virtually every teen will have to deal with when they reach high school. It can be a positive thing, which can help your teen make friends and define themselves. But peer pressure can also have negative and life-altering effects that can affect them for the rest of their lives. They could get in with the wrong crowd and start skipping school. They could also be tempted to try drugs and alcohol. This is understandably something you want to avoid. While you can’t stop your teenager from experiencing negative peer pressure, you can help them handle it effectively. Take a look at these tips and get them prepared today.
Talk about peer pressure
Sit down with your child at home and talk about what peer pressure is, in an age appropriate manner. Help them to understand how it happens and to recognize the signs. You can do this through role playing activities or by using videos online. Remember to pay particular attention to the effects of negative peer pressure. Learning more about the effects of truancy or cocaine addiction can help them understand why it’s so bad. You should also discuss what consequences there will be if they give into negative peer pressure. You could threaten to take away their phone or ground them. The threat alone should be enough to stop them wanting to be involved.
Teach them to say no
As well as teaching your teen about what peer pressure is, you should also teach them that it is ok to say no. Many teens feel they cannot do this, in fear of being seen as unpopular or uncool. Encourage them to trust their instincts, remain calm and if something doesn’t feel right always say no. Tell them not to worry about hurting someone’s feelings and that it’s more important to stay safe and out of trouble. Another approach you could use is to use you as an excuse. So if one of their classmates wants them to skip school, for instance, they can say that you will be angry and ground them. Use role playing to practice these techniques.
Make sure that your child knows that you are always there to talk to and that you want to help in any way you can. Make time each day to ask your teenager about their day and listen carefully to their response. Praise them when they do well and when they make good choices. This will encourage them to continue along the right path. In a bid to support their teen, some parent take over and stop them from making any decisions. This can unintentionally set their child up for rebellion and tempt them into making bad decisions. So be there but also let them breathe and have some independence.
If you are concerned that your teenager has already given into negative peer pressure, there are a few things you can do. Talk to your teen about their behavior and also contact their school immediately. The sooner the issue is handled, the better.