How can we help teens deal with peer pressure?
Honestly, there are some things we can do as parents to help teens deal with peer pressure. However, in the end it is up to the teen to make the right decision. Therefore if there is something we can do to help our teen deal with peer pressure, it would be to empower them with the skills to manage peer pressure effectively.
In order to empower your teen to deal with peer pressure, it is necessary to make sure that there is a basis. The foundation that builds a strong teen starts with love. A teen that feels the support and love of a family is less likely to fall into disruptive and damaging peer pressures.
So often you hear about teens that do things like their friends, because their friends are their family. This is because their friends are filling an emotional need that they may not be getting somewhere else.
This is where a close relationship at home built on unconditional love can take precedence over poor decisions. If your teen knows that they are loved at home, they are less likely to follow friends so easily. If your teen knows that no matter if their friends like them or not, they are still safe and secure, then they will be able to feel strong enough to make their own decisions.
Managing peer pressure is mostly about having the will and confidence to make your own decisions. This confidence comes from several different areas in life: the self-confidence a child gains through new accomplishments and praise. Confidence that they are loved and accepted no matter what. Finally, it is having the knowledge and confidence that they know what to say in the time of pressure.
Self-confidence is something that is gained over time. This is the confidence you get when you accomplish something good, and you are praised for it. This is the confidence that you have in yourself. When you do something good and feel good about it, this is self-confidence. Self-confidence also involves knowing that you are able to be aware of your decisions, and that you can make the decision that you find right.
The best way to equip your teen with self-confidence is to start early. Add confidence to praise by letting your child make decisions, and then praise them for good decisions. This way, they start to know they can be confident in love, praise, and decision-making.
Finally, the other tool you can give your teen to help them deal with peer pressure is the knowledge. Knowledge about the subjects that will come up will help them know what to say and do.
Set up examples of issues that will occur, and then role-play the actions your teen can take. Give them the answers to questions that they will be asked. Also give them facts to back up their decisions. Most teens do not smoke, do drugs, or drink. Regardless of what their friends say, the statistics do not back it up.
Dealing with peer pressure will be much easier for your teen or pre-teen when you empower them with love, confidence and knowledge. This is how you can help better prepare your teen.