Peer pressure? This word can be defined in many different ways. It can be defined as the pressure from one’s peers to behave in a manner similar or acceptable to them. It could be giving in to substances, such as drugs or alcohol, because your peers tell you to. It can even be as simple as telling a lie, because a peer tells you to. Any way peer pressure is defined, it’s usually not positive.
Peer pressure is a mostly negative experience, but one which almost every teen will experience at some point in their life. It’s up to the teens, and parents to help figure out the best plan to avoid being peer pressured into a situation.
Ways to help your teen get out a peer pressure situation:
Come up with a code word.
Most teens have a cell phone so parents, come up with a code word with your teen. Meaning, when your teen is in a situation where they feel peer pressure is involved or may become involved have a “code word” that your teen can text to you in which you know means “call me”, and “please come and get me”. If you have a code word, a teen doesn’t have to be embarrassed to call a parent or guardian to ask for help out of the situation.
Talk to your teens about it.
Communication is key in any parent-teen relationship. If you get talking with your teen about the peer pressures they may begin to experience, they will open back up to you and ask for ways they can avoid it. Also, do not “sugar coat” the effects peer pressure can have. Make sure to warn your teens about the risks of giving in to some of the negative things that could be at hand. Some things that teens are doing these days are not good and can cause serious harm to them, so make sure the teens know what the risks and outcomes can be to giving into peer pressure.
Be reasonable with Punishments.
If your teen opens up to you asking for help when faced with a situation where peer pressure is at hand, instead of punishing your teen for being in that type of situation, praise your teen for being open with you and asking for your help. If they ask for your help they too were also uncomfortable with the situation and looked out for help. But do talk to your teen about the situation, and ask who is involved so parents can know next time not to let your teen out with that person.
Peer pressure is usually by friends, or what should be called “Fake Friends”. Why I state “Fake Friends” is because any true friend of yours would not make you give into something you would not usually do, or do on your own.
Lastly, teens, never be afraid to just say no. I know, sometimes saying no is hard, can could possibly be embarrassing; but it is better to say no, then to be faced with a situation in which could cause harm to you and others. And the way I see it, no friend is worth a possibly risky situation.
Photo Credit: SweetxDee from Flickr