The teenage years are one of the hardest years for your child and you as a parent. At this point, there are so many things vying for the attention of your child. There are hormones, mood swings, school pressure and the worst of all, peer pressure. You are worried, wondering if the values you have instilled in them will prevent them from falling in with the wrong crowd. You are hoping they are strong enough to conquer the temptations that will come in the form of their friends asking them to make wrong choices. Wanting to fit in can lead a teenager into difficult situations because at this point, they are willing to conform so they can be liked by the people in their social group. This pressure to conform to the attitudes, characters or values of other kids who belong to your child’s social group or a social group your child aspires to belong to is Peer pressure.
Peer pressure can be positive, instilling a sense of competition in your child and pushing them to take part in extracurricular activities. Peer pressure can also be negative, causing your child to flout the rules and participate in activities they ordinarily wouldn’t have been part of. As a parent, you can effectively warn your teen or take them to a therapist for talk therapy to prevent them from making wrong choices and give them the necessary tools needed to enable them to deal with peer pressure and tell them more from this post: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/talking-therapies-how-talk-therapy-can-help-you-in-treatment/
Here are some ways to also protect your child from being pressured into negative behaviors:
Boost your child’s confidence. A person who is confident with a high self-esteem is not easily swayed into doing what he/she doesn’t want. The more confident your child is, the less the desire to want to conform and be part of the crowd. When your child lacks self-confidence, he feels the need to seek for validation from other people, and this might push them into doing negative things just to prove themselves. Teach your teen to be secure in him/herself. Praise them for being able to take certain decisions. Compliment them. Avoid ridiculing them or using words that can shame them. Laugh with your children and teach them that there is nothing wrong in being able to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. A man’s mistake doesn’t define a man. Encourage them to learn from their mistakes.
Encourage your teenager to be independent in their thinking and decision-making process. Train your child to make decisions and recognize when he/she has made a good decision. You can help improve your child’s ability to make decisions by asking them questions about a situation and what they feel the best solution should be. Allow them to brainstorm on the situation and give different solutions. You can discuss the consequences of each solution with them and then let them choose the one they think is the best out of all they have mentioned. This is after you are sure they have weighed all the consequences involved. This helps in promoting independent thinking and helps them in their decision-making process by always making sure they consider the consequences of their actions.
Encourage and inspire your kids daily. You can encourage them to read up or help them search for books or movies that inspire kids to be true to themselves and discover their passions and talents and not give into peer pressure.
Learn to listen. Teenagers just want to be heard and understood. Learn to listen when they are talking about the pressures they are facing and try not to overreact when they say something shocking. It will only make them shut down and cease communication. Stay calm and focus on what your child needs.
Get to know the friends your child is keeping. It is very important that you know the people your child is hanging out with. You can encourage your teen to bring them over so you can interact with them and maybe assess their behavior.
Act out peer pressure scenarios and teach your child how to act in cases like that. It’s time for a little bit of role play. Practice peer pressure scenarios. You can act as the one putting the pressure and see how your kid reacts to those kinds of situations. Educate them on how to say no without causing conflict. Teach them that ‘No’ means no, and they do not have to explain themselves.