Parents can influence the odds that teens are surrounded by positive peer groups by encouraging participation in a variety of healthy activities. As much as we may wish that we could teach our kids to say “No! ” to friends who engage in behavior we don’t like, that isn’t always realistic. Some young people choose to maintain friendships at the expense of their values. Throughout life we will have different values than coworkers and friends. Part of raising teens includes helping them develop the skills to be clear about their values, while still interacting with people who may have differing ones.

You can also get a recommendation from your physician or a friend.A therapist can help you learn to express your feelings better and build your confidence. Remind kids to take a minute before reacting to peer pressure. Taking a deep breath and thinking about the consequences prior to answering will allow them to give a more thoughtful response. It may also be helpful to assess your child’s emotional intelligence and teach them those skills. Resisting negative peer pressure doesn’t come naturally, it must be learned.

When facing peer pressure, think of the acronym “SWAG:”

They tend to teach the “whys” behind avoiding drugs, offer social skills to refuse drugs, and give opportunities to practice those skills over time. We can draw from these successful programs and from our own life experience, to empower teens to say “No” effectively. Consider these 8 tips as you prepare your teen to face peer pressure. It’s natural for people to identify with or compare themselves to their peers. Peer pressure is a force that nearly everyone has faced at some point. Through growth and a renewed sense of independence, young adults tend to question how they want to be and where they fit in among a social crowd. Peer pressure can sway decisions and outlooks, particularly in adolescents whose minds are still developing.

Sure, it can be hard to say no to your friends, but consider the consequences of saying yes. What will happen if you take that drink or smoke that joint? Will you compromise your health, make yourself sick or get in trouble with the law?

Role play peer pressure

Though young people might not realize it, they learn by example—and parents are typically their first role models. Show confidence in your kids’ capabilities Keeping in mind the limits of their age, give your children room to make their own decisions. By treating them in ways that telegraph you believe they can choose wisely and take responsibility for those choices, it will boost their own confidence. Positive peer pressure can lead someone to do things that are good for them, such as exercise, eat healthy food, or avoid smoking. When these healthy things become a habit, it can often be traced back to instances of positive peer pressure. You never had much of a social life in high school, but now that college is here, you’ve blossomed into a social butterfly. But you’ve neglected to impose a balance on your new activities, and now you’re cutting class to spend time with new friends.

  • If you’ve adopted values, beliefs, goals or hobbies based on what others in your peer group believe or do, you’ve experienced peer pressure, whether positive or negative.
  • She’s also a psychotherapist, an international bestselling author of books on mental strength and host of The Verywell Mind Podcast.
  • Direct peer pressure can often feel heightened because of our own discomfort of the environment we’re in at that time of experiencing direct peer pressure.
  • As they make decisions themselves, they’ll feel good about the choices they make and may be more likely to choose to do the right thing.
  • Back each other up and support each other in making good decisions.
  • Peer pressure can range from subtle to overt, which means that some forms of peer pressure can be easier to spot than others.

Knowing the facts about drugs, cigarettes and alcohol will help children make informed decisions when faced with the temptation to try them. Don’t wait for your kids to discover the risks on their own, present them with facts and discuss the hazards of these substances. Remember parents’ expectations do influence children’s behavior. how to deal with peer pressure From the beginning, parents work to teach their children how to make healthy decisions. But as children age, parents’ influence decreases and the opinion of peers becomes more and more important. Social pressure can affect a wide range of thoughts, actions and behaviors, from academic performance to substance use to mental health.

Reinforce Values

Just as in-person interactions can be both positive and negative, communication through social media can also have a positive or negative effect. Social media is constantly available, enabling teens to receive those messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means social media has great potential to amplify feelings of peer pressure, both negative and positive. We have learned that educating teens about what not to do is not enough. Drug prevention programs that have had success have gone far beyond teaching young people to say no.