Very little is more important to kids or teens than being part of a group – any group. A kid’s friends and classmates can easily influence thoughts, feelings, styles, and attitudes. These are not always good influences. Sometimes kids or teens carelessly do what the others are doing and that can lead to trouble. They give in to peer pressure because they have a need to be liked by others; they have insecurity about making good decisions; or they have low self-esteem.
Parents can teach their kids or teens self-esteem. Show them how to make good choices for themselves so they can say “no!” confidently and easily.
- Teach them to be confident!
- Let kids or teens express their own feelings and opinions.
- Praise good decisions and right actions.
- Teach them to set and accomplish goals, first in simple situations and then in more difficult situations.
- Make sure your kids or teens have the facts about their social stresses.
- Encourage them to think about what will happen if they act, both right now and in the future.
Teach your kids or teens to ask themselves 5 simple questions before they make a decision.
- Is it healthy?
- Is it safe?
- Is it legal?
- Does it respect myself; and others?
- Does It respect the wishes of my parents?
Encourage kids or teens to become aware of their own beliefs and then stand up for them.
Let them know that saying “no!” to peer pressure doesn’t mean cutting ties with friends. It just means making their own decisions.
Teach them to say what they want and what they don’t want without getting mad. Encourage your kids or teens to let others know how what they do affects them.
Remember that saying “no!” takes practice. Encourage them to use some of these helpful statements when saying “no!”
- “No, I am worth more than that!”
- “No, if doing drugs means being cool, than I’d rather just be me!”
- “No, I have to go home now. My parents have work for me to do!”
- “No, that’s not right and I’ll get in trouble with my parents!”
- “No, I don’t want to do something that will hurt my body!”
Suggested Readings For Parents and Children:
- Self Esteem: A Family Affair [PARENTS]
- The How Rude! Handbook of Friendship & Dating Manners for Teens: Surviving the Social Scene [TEENS]
- What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Tricky and Sticky Situations [KIDS & TEENS]
- Cliques, Phonies, and Other Baloney [KIDS & TEENS]
- Getting With It: A Kid’s Guide to Forming Good Relationships and Fitting In [KIDS & TEENS]
- Too Smart for Trouble [KIDS & PARENTS]
- Strong, Smart, and Bold: Empowering Girls for Life [PARENTS]
- Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys [PARENTS]
- No Body’s Perfect: Stories by Teens [TEENS]
- What Do You Think? A Guide to Dealing With Daily Dilemmas [KIDS & TEENS]
- The Struggle To Be Strong: True Stories By Teens About Overcoming Tough Times [TEENS]
- I’ve Got This Friend Who: Advice for Teens and Their Friends on Alcohol, Drugs, Eating Disorders, Risky Behaviors, and More [TEENS]