Peer Pressure and Your Teen
One of the hardest parts of growing
up, is the same today as it has been for years, peer pressure.
Although most people think of peer pressure
in a negative way, some peer pressure is actually quite good in
working towards developing your teen's recognition of right and
wrong. Negative peer pressure, the kind we most commonly associate
with the concept, can be devastatingly corruptive.
There are some things that you can do to help your
teen resist negative peer pressure. Here are some
* First, teach your teen by your own good example. Don't smoke,
drink too much or drive too fast. Say "no" to friends
when you need to. Your teen will see that it is possible to say
"no" and still have friends, to be sober and still have
* Secondly, help your children handle peer pressure
when they are alone by helping them to handle making responsible
choices when they are younger. Allowing them room to become confident
decision-makers is a place to start. As your child becomes more
skilled at making all kinds of good choices, both you and she
will feel more secure in her ability to make the right decision
concerning alcohol and drugs if and when the time arrives.
* Third, practice assertiveness skills. Rehearse for the times
when your teen will have to say "no" in a difficult
situation when you can't be there to help.
* Fourth, explore your teen's fears of being different.
Saying "No" can make one feel different, and it's scary
to face possible ridicule and rejection. Discuss what makes a
true friend and how daring to be different can be mature and courageous.
* Finally parents, help your teen find positive ways
to feel good. Saying "yes" to self-esteem enhancing
hobbies, interests and activities can help your teen
to say "No" to harmful quick fixes.
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