Growing up can be difficult for teens. Kids today are feeling new pressures to try and fit in with their friend groups. Unfortunately, trying to fit in can lead your teen to deal with peer pressure and trying their best to stick to their morals.
Parents today need to be proactive in their child's life. You need to be able to talk to your kids about anything and that includes difficult topics like peer pressure. Getting ahead and being able to have honest conversations with your teens can help them think in advance about how to tackle tough situations. So keep reading to discover ten ways to talk to your kids about peer pressure.
10 Remind Them Their Bodies And Brain Are Still Developing
When teens partake in drinking alcohol or drugs they might not know how those substances can affect their bodies. As parents, you need to remind your teenagers that they are still young and have their whole lie ahead of them and that their bodies and brains are not fully formed or developed.
Giving in to peer pressure and doing things that they do not want to do can be dangerous, especially since they are still growing. So take time to talk to your teens today about being smart about their health.
9 Don’t Corner Them
The biggest mistake a parent can make when they try to talk to their kids about peer pressure is cornering them and making them feel trapped in the conversation. You want your teen to actually listen to you, so give them a safe and comfortable place to talk.
This could be a special place in the house they like or even just on a walk in the park. Just changing up the location and not just walking into their room while they are trying to study can set the mood to have a great talk about peer pressure.
8 Let Your Child Be Honest With You
No parents want to hear about their child having a difficult time and being uncomfortable with their group of friends. However, you need to take a deep breath and let your teen be honest with you about their life.
You want your teen to be able to talk to you about anything, including peer pressure and how they handle it. So if your kid says that their friends have tried something don’t overreact. Instead, let them talk and hear why the chose to do or not to do it and what they learned. If you move straight to a lecture they'll be less likely to confide in you in the future.
7 Tell Them The Facts
Most of the time peer pressure is about doing and taking substances that are not legal for their age or in general. If you tell your teenage the risks that can come with underage drinking or the effects that smoking cigarettes will have on their life then they are going to better understand why those substances cannot be bought until a certain age.
Teens are known for wanting to “experiment,” but if they have the facts about what can happen if they do it they are less likely to want to risk their safety or health!
6 Don’t Do All The Talking
Many parents can get nervous when they have to talk to their children about serious issues and topics. Talking about peer pressure can make a parent so nervous that all they do is talk and spit out words. When you do talk to your teen about peer pressure you want to make it a conversation.
You want them to be able to talk to you and ask you questions, so they can better understand the risk that comes along with going along with whatever their group of friends does.
5 Encourage Healthy Friendships
Being a teenager can be tough, especially when looking to find a group of friends that share the same interests in this stage of their life. Sometimes teens are friends just because they have known someone for a long time even though they are different people now.
Remind your teen that a true friend will never make you do something that you don’t want to do. If their friends start to pick on your child or tease them then they were not good friends to start with. Encourage your teen to find healthy friendships that will help them grow.
4 Be There If They Need You
Unfortunately, there can be times when your child has to deal with peer pressure. If this happens you want your teen to be prepared. So come up with a code name that they can text or call you with so you know that you have to come to pick them up and get them out of this situation.
If and when they do this, you as a parent cannot be mad that they got in that situation. You want your child to feel comfortable asking for help if they need it from you or a small mistake can end up being much bigger.
3 Remind Your Kids That They Don’t Need To Defend Their Response
‘No’ is a powerful word. This is also going to be the word that your teen is going to have to feel comfortable saying if they are dealing with peer pressure.
You should remind your kids that anytime they say ‘no,’ in their lives when it comes to doing something they never need to defend it or explain why. Just saying ‘no’ is enough to let everyone know what you feel about a situation. If friends keep pressuring them then they should just leave the whole situation.
2 Share Mistakes You Made
As parents, we are not perfect and we bet that you were not a perfect teenager either. Sometimes one of the best ways to help your child with a situation is to share stories about when you were their age. We are not saying to tell them about every mistake you made, but if they can learn from something you wish you didn’t do as a teen share it with them!
This will also help your child feel more comfortable about the whole topic when you share stories about your past.
1 Trust Your Child
Every person makes mistakes in their lives and some do have to do with peer pressure. All you need to remember at the end of the day is that you raised your child to be smart and to stand up for themselves.
The biggest thing you can give your teen is trust. Trust them and trust that you brought them up to know what is best. Knowing that you trust them can make your teen feel more responsible and not want to break your trust by making the right choices in life.