We can all remember moments from our own youth where we felt pressure from our friends to do something that we perhaps weren’t all that comfortable agreeing to. Sometimes it can be very hard to say no to your friends, but sometimes when risky behaviour is on the table, they need to find the strength to say no and not force themselves into doing anything that they are not comfortable with.
To give you some advice on traversing this tricky subject, I’ve collaborated with a Private Sixth Form in Hertfordshire to offer you some guidance on how best to address the subject of peer pressure with your teenager.
Be There For Support
If there is ever anything bothering your teen, you want them to feel that they can come to you and talk it out. That means you want to encourage a sense that you’re someone they can trust, and are not going to overact. There may be some issues they raise that may shock you to hear, but always keep your reactions in check and try not to overact. Listen to them and offer your advice when they ask for it.
Talk About What Makes a True Friend
Much of the issue with power pressure revolves around a misplaced sense of what a good friend should be. No good friend would force another to do something that they are not comfortable with, so stres this message to your kid where you can. Share your own experiences of when friends have been there for you, demonstrating the strengths of a good friend. You can also talk about moments you have faced peer pressure, and share what you learnt from your own experience.
Get To Know Their Friends
Getting to know your kid’s friends will allow you to get a sense of who is likely to be a good and or a bad influence. Try not to judge too much however; it is more important to create an environment where your kid feels comfortable inviting their friends over, allowing you to get to know them naturally, all the while making your home feel like a safe and comforting palace for your kids and their friends to hang out.