5 Best Peer Pressure Solutions for Your Teen
When it comes to teens and peer pressure, education science has lots of recommendations on how to tackle the problem. And rightly so. It’s a common thing when a teen gets forced to do something that they actually don’t want to do. More often than not, this applies to bad habits. According to the statistics, 71% of students have tried alcohol in high school while 34% used drugs. No wonder parents are so concerned about the issue. The following methods will help your teen manage peer pressure wisely.
Peer Pressure Solutions to Keep in Mind
Bolster your child’s self-esteem
Unassertive teens usually get oppressed by their peers. They become an easy target since they are too afraid to speak up. Why does it happen? The key reason here is the lack of self-confidence. The problem is serious, and often it’s rooted in early childhood.
To build your teen’s self-esteem, you need to show them that their opinion matters. From their young age, empower your child whenever it’s possible. Encourage them to share their thoughts and ideas. Allow them to make their own decisions and support them along the way. Express your approval and speak kind words of praise. All of this is crucial for the child’s healthy emotional development and boosting their self-esteem.
Suggest options in saying “no”
Sometimes teenagers feel embarrassed to say “no.” Let’s picture the following scenario. A group of teens are heavy smokers and want your teen to join them. So what’s to be done? Saying just “no” wouldn’t be enough in this case. It is the same thing as to say “I’m a kiddy afraid of being punished,” or “I’m just not that cool.”
Your teen may become an object of derision afterward. But there’s a solution. Use your creativity to handle this situation. Say, your child may refuse to try smoking because of poor health. They can also say they don’t like the smell of cigarettes. There’s no harm in such a small lie. But it’s an inventive way to push back on peer pressure.
Enlarge a friendship network
It’s a good idea to have friends from various sources. This can be a sports club, studies, or family activities. When being surrounded by different peers, your teen won’t have much time to hang out with the “wrong” friends. Thus, their bad influence will be minimized.
Having a wide circle of social contacts would be beneficial especially for reserved kids. They will be able to improve their communicative skills and get rid of excessive shyness. New friendships will bring understanding and support, which is crucial for forming a self-confident and outgoing personality.
Build trustful relationships with your child
Teenagers tend to distance themselves from their parents – and this is natural. Now they have lots of new interests and hobbies and prefer to spend time with like-minded people of their age. But when dealing with peer pressure, they can feel extremely lonely and insecure. That’s why building a trusting relationship with your child is of great importance.
If your daughter currently suffers from slut shaming, for instance, she shouldn’t be afraid to tell you about it. If you’ve noticed that she is upset or disturbed about something, do not ignore it. Suggest her to talk and share her worries. Make sure you’ve got a calm voice and friendly attitude. Be as much empathetic and compassionate as you can.
Have a backup plan
This is life, and things can go wrong. That’s why having a backup plan is always a great idea. Help your teen to make one. For example, come up with a coded message. If your son finds himself in a risky situation, he will send you a message both of you have agreed on.
In this way, you will always know that he is seeking your help at the moment. By the way, texting is actually better than calling since the teen may feel uncomfortable when needing to dial the parents. Peers can begin to mock them, making things even worse.
The detrimental effects of peer pressure on teenagers can be hardly exaggerated. If you are worried that your kid has got a wrong friendship and is being pushed to do something against their will, don’t waste your time. Try to talk to them and discuss the situation. Don’t make judgments about their actions. Instead, suggest the possible solutions to fight peer pressure.