How to Help Teenagers Deal with Peer Pressure?
Peer pressure can be very damaging to teenagers especially. They may end up doing things they'd otherwise not do - just to "fit in." Dealing with peer pressure is not easy because saying "no" often means you are ostracized from the group, you could be made fun of, you could be sneered at, you might not be welcome to hang out with the group. Since friendships mean a lot to people, especially teenagers, often times they can't bring themselves to say "no" and end up doing things that could damage their lives, sometimes irreparably so.
You wouldn't want your son/daughter getting addicted to drugs for example, or indulging in reckless and dangerous sexual behavior. Drugs in fact is one of the prime examples of how peer pressure can damage and damage quite severely. That first smoke/snort/injection/inhalation often turns into a chronic addiction.
You can enable teenagers (and others) to deal with peer pressure by educating them on what to do when such peer pressures come into play. You need to inculcate in them a set of belief systems (a list of things they would not do under any circumstance). They need to be taught that saying "no" does not mean you are any less "cool" than the crowd.
The best thing though is to have a friend for your child who believes in those value systems - who can support your child in that group - so that your child isn't the lone voice who isn't "fitting in." Parents can do a lot in this respect. They can choose some sound, good kids as friends for their children. Good friends can be like guiding angels - often times they support you and keep you from drifting with "the crowd."
Even if your child is alone in a group, tell him/her that saying "no" is often times more important than saying "yes." Give them examples of what drugs and reckless sexual behavior do to people. Reinforce the point that when it comes to drugs, there is no "one time." Let them know that that "one time" can turn into an addiction and that they'd be better off saying no the first time itself.
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