Peer pressure is an inseparable aspect of
adolescence. Read on to find tips on how parents can help teenagers cope with
While talking about peer pressure in
teens it is important for the parents to realise the fact that there are both
positive and negative peer pressures. Teenage is a phase when an individual
gets an opportunity to interact with the world and the people around. This is a
time when they are learning to grow up and feel that this is no longer a stage
where they can depend on their parents for every
little thing. They begin to learn to live as an individual and therefore take a
lot of decisions on their own.
The choice of a peer group is one of
them. When there is a problem behaviour
in the teen, parents infer that this is due to negative peer pressure. This
problem can be dealt with by reinforcing family values and teach them how it
should ideally get reflected in their relationships and thereby the companions
that they associate themselves with.
Start With Early Conditioning
In your attempt to help the teen
deal with negative peer pressure,
parents need to make the teen aware of its existence first. Most of the times
teens get embroiled into negative peer pressure without being aware that it is
harmful for them. Parents can devise innovative ways either by stating simple
factual details or through role playing and prepare the teens on what they can
expect when they are striving their way in adapting to the people around.
Avoid The Parent Adolescent Conflict
Parents need to have the
communication lines with their teens always
open. When you are able to hold an easy and comfortable conversation with your
child, you will automatically get to know what is happening in her life, her
thoughts and if at all anything is bothering her, as in the form of negative
peer pressure. Here it is important not to overreact but be a patient listener.
The moment you express your dissent
the teen would be conscious while sharing similar situations with the next
time. In the meantime think of ways by which you can help the child and offer
suggestions. Be casual and friendly in your approach. Never give a situation
more importance than it actually deserves.
Do Not Force Decisions
In many cases it has been observed
that parents tend to force rules or their individual opinions on the children
and when they grow up into teens they begin to perceive these attempts as
intrusions. This is a phase where they are desperately searching for their
individuality and this emotion needs to be respected. You can offer suggestions
but never force the teen to follow them. Leave the decision making up to them.
This way they will learn to value opinions and once they understand what are
the positives of your suggestions or the negatives of not following them, they
will automatically come back to the family values. This is the best way to
In most cases it is due to this
conflict alone that the teens feel isolated in the family and begin to feel
that there is no one to hear them out or understand their point of view. In
this stage of their lives, what they require is companionship where they can
share thoughts and feelings and not an autocratic parent who stands with a
stick every now and then. It is this sense of alienation from the family that
pushes them towards the peer group more and more. They eventually get involved
in activities that are non conforming as they wish to assert their independence
in this way, through disobedience. In such a situation negative peer pressure
sets in and it becomes increasingly difficult to combat the disastrous effects.