Peer pressure is the influence that friends, relatives, or peers have on one another. Although peer pressure is not always harmful, the term “pressure” indicates that the process pushes others to do activities they might not want to do otherwise. For example, peer pressure comes into play when people talk about activities that are not regarded as socially acceptable or beneficial, like experimenting with alcohol or drugs.
No matter your child’s mood, the best way to talk to them is to approach them nicely. Here are some tips on how you can communicate and help your teen deal with peer pressure:
Positive peer pressure can contribute to the development of positive life habits. Some peers may be able to teach them valuable life lessons and inspire them. Adopting the positive behaviors of peers may have a significant impact not just on your teen’s school life but also their mindset.
To avoid the harmful effects of peer pressure, here are some brilliant ways to deal with the situation when the time comes:
Discuss age-appropriate topics openly, as well as the possible consequences of such scenarios and why these may seem tempting. You may discuss promiscuity, unprotected sex, drug use, and alcohol drinking.
Help your child choose friends with the same values, ethics, and qualities. Be careful not to criticize your child’s friends by their aspects, such as economic status, but focus on how they behave.
Establish clear family rules, so your teen understands their limitations and boundaries. Discuss these rules clearly with each family member to avoid misunderstandings in the future.
If your child gets into a situation where peers encourage them to engage in harmful activities, they should know how to respond or get away. Teach them how they can reply appropriately, so they will not get involved in fights or misunderstandings with their peers.
To avoid being influenced, your teen should learn to think first before making potentially life-changing decisions. Logical thinking can also improve your child’s emotional intelligence, which they will need later in life.
When we talk about substance use among teens, one of the first questions that come to mind is: “Who are their friends?” This is because most substance abuse cases are deeply rooted in peer influence, especially among teenagers. Counselors and mental health professionals firmly believe that there is a strong link between substance use and peer pressure.
Depending on the social circle, peer pressure can discourage or convince someone to use drugs. According to research, teenagers have a massive impact on one another’s actions and are more inclined to take risks in groups. Peer pressure is one of the main reasons teens smoke cigarettes. A friend usually hands them one.
Adolescents are more likely to be influenced by peers than adults. They are particularly susceptible to peer pressure because their brain has higher rewarding tendencies in this stage of cognitive development. Since human behavior is so complex and diverse, exposure to peer pressure has teens examine other people’s preferences and perspectives and apply them to their lives.
Building a strong parent-child relationship can help teenagers feel more emotionally autonomous while being responsible for their actions. As a parent, it’s best to put yourself in their shoes by empathizing with their feelings or thoughts. If they approach you for advice, consider it a sign that your child trusts you. Never break that trust. Your child sees you as a confidant, believing you know more about life than they do.
Encourage your child to do chores with you and to approach you whenever they have problems. Actively listen to them and express your sincerest support. Observe their behaviors as they grow up, and if necessary, set rules and conditions. Lastly, help them understand that saying “no” to peers is an appropriate response if they realize that they are doing it for their benefit.