Peer pressure is an inseparable aspect of adolescence. Read on to find tips on how parents can help teenagers cope with peer pressure.
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 avoid parent-adolescent conflict.
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.