Teenager Peer Pressure is present in every teenager’s life. There are things we need to talk with our teens about when it comes to the peer pressure they face.
Teenager Peer Pressure Conversations You Need to Have
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At the beginning of the school year, Colby announced to me that he no longer wanted to ride the bus. In previous years he had ridden the bus to school and home on occasion. With no real reason stated, I was a little annoyed because that would mean I would be having to plan my day around going and dropping him off and picking him up. But I agreed to do it.
Over time, I found out that not the best things were happening on our bus. I was grateful that my son removed himself from the situation and made a better choice by asking for a ride to and from school. Certainly, it would have been easier if he would have just told me the whole situation, but that is not important! The important thing is he recognized that he was uncomfortable and removed himself from a situation that he felt peer pressure in.
Does it seem like kids are being exposed to teenager peer pressure at younger ages these days? When I look back to my tween and teenage years I thought we had it hard, but I have come to realize that our kids have it so much harder than we did! It is important for us as parents to talk with our teens about peer pressure and how to handle it! That way when they are in a situation they don’t want to be in, they know just what to do!
Talk About Teenager Peer Pressure
Talk with your teenagers about peer pressure. Help them to understand what it is and how it can affect their lives now and in the future. Be open and honest with your teens as you have these conversations.
It’s also important to keep open communication with your teen so that they will want to share their feelings about peer pressure. Let’s not tell them to tough it out. When we tell them to tough it out, we aren’t validating how they are feeling. Remember how you felt when you felt the weight of peer pressure? Be that person that your teen came come to and share their feelings.
Talk About Consequences of their Choices
Talk with your teenagers about the consequences of their choices. This could include good and bad consequences. Remind them that choices that they might make away from home could still have consequences at home. Use examples so they can understand.
Teach them about how good choices influence their lives for the better. Or how poor choices lead down a path to misery and regret often times. Don’ts forget to talk with them about making things right and forgiveness. They will make mistakes, so let’s show them how to make things right.
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Brainstorm together what are good choices and poor choices. This is also a great opportunity to keep open communication with your teen. You want to acknowledge their brainstorming ideas, even if you may not agree with or like their ideas. Use the time to help them plan what to do if they are put in a situation they don’t want to be in.
Teach them that now is the time to make the hard choices so they don’t have to when they are in the situation. You might even want to role play scenarios, or the conversation that might take place between friends, so that your teen knows what to say. Because remind them, when they are in the situation trying to decide it becomes so much harder!
Let your kids be involved in good activities. Whether it be sports or music or theatre. Whatever they like, let them do. By being involved in good things they have less temptation to be involved in other things.
Encourage your teen to invite their friends to your house. Provide the snacks, movies, games and embrace the chaos! Providing a safe place for your teen and their friends can be a great opportunity to get to know your teen and their friends better.
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Stay involved in your kids’ lives. Don’t turn your back on them now they are a teenager, even when it might feel they are shutting your out. Ask questions. Encourage conversation.
Keep open communication with your teen! Find out what challenges they are facing. Continue to connect with them! Remind them that you are always there for them.
Give Them An Out
Who cares if you are the bad person? Let them know that they can always use you as an out. “Oh, I can’t do that, my mom would kill me.” “Mom told me I have to babysit tonight.” “I have to go to this family thing I really don’t want to go to.” All these outs make it easier and take Teen Peer Pressure off of them. (P.S. Did you know that when they use you as their excuse it builds a bond with you?)
The Value of Good Friends
Teach your teens the value of good friends. Encourage them to find friends that have their standards. Finding friends that make choices similar to the choices they make makes life easier. When you have good friends they won’t pressure you into doing things that you don’t want to do. Like I mentioned before, make your home available for your teen and their friends to hangout.
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Have a Code
Have a codeword. If they need you they either say the word or text the word. At that moment, you know to drop everything and help them get out of whatever situation they are in. No questions asked…until they get home. Remember, If they are using the codeword, they need you…NOW! The time for questions will come later. Let them know no matter what you will help them!
Have trust in your teen. They need to know that you think they will make the right choice. That way when they are in a situation they can think, “My mom and dad trust me.” They know that I will do the right thing!” Have the confidence in them that they can overcome teen peer pressure.
With these tips, you will help your teenager will handle all type of teenager peer pressure thrown their way!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!