If you have teens living at home and going to school you know that peer pressure is something you have to talk with your children about. It exists and no matter how nice the kids are your kids hang out with just being around them may cause peer pressure and they may not even realize it.
Kids learn from experience and from hanging out with their peer’s, and they learn from you the parents. Peers can either have a positive influence or a negative influence on you and your teen has to be able to make the right choices afterwards.
The first thing to combat peer pressure is having open communication with your kids. Being able to come home and talk with your parents is the best thing for them. Parents listening instead of asking annoying questions is another. Teens for the most part like to talk and if you are open with them and listen instead of lecturing them over everything they tell you, your more likely to find things out from them.
Kids want to fit in and they don’t want to be made fun of. Some kids will be pressured into doing things they don’t really want to do and know is wrong just so they aren’t made fun of. The saying, “Everyone does it.” or “Everybody else has one.” may influence your kids into wanting to do or wanting to have something they wouldn’t otherwise have done or wanted.
Teens have to have the inner strength and confidence to walk away when they are being pressured into doing things that they know is wrong. It’s hard to be the only one in your group that doesn’t smoke for instance, but if they are really your friends they will not hold it against you. Sometimes you have to be able to walk away from kids that are pressuring you into doing things that you know are wrong.
It’s better to have friends with the same values and standards as yourself than it is to always be fighting with your friends when you won’t do something they want you too when you know it’s wrong or you don’t want to. The saying, “Choose your friends wisely” is something for your teen to think about.
Let your teens know that even if they’ve made a few mistakes it’s not too late to change and that you’ll be there with them no matter what. They can change, find new friends, stick to their guns and not be pressured into doing things they don’t want to do. They can say, “No” and live without that one or two friends who were always getting them in trouble. Teens can also find peers that will help hold up their morals and help them do the right things, instead of the wrong things.