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Teenager Peer Pressure – It’s There

Teenage peer pressure – it can be a parent’s nightmare.  When your son or daughter is young , you are the sun and the moon to them and have a huge influence on them.  And then they get older.   As they grow, teenagers still love their parents, but they start to turn to their peer group and this kind of peer pressure can lead to many unpleasant situations.

If you’reworried about how to help your teen avoid peer pressure and teen cliques, here are some ideas :

  1. Grow their Self Esteem – A kid with a healthy sense  of self will be less likely to be led astray by their peer group .  Teens often feel pressured to join with their peers in doing something wrong because they don’t feel like they belong anywhere else. .  A clique – even if it’s doing bad things, can give a teenager with a low self esteem an important part of acceptance. Being part of a group helps your teen fell like he belongs to something.  

You can help your teen’s self-esteem by continuing to praise their accomplishments and by helping them identify their talents and strengths.   As our kids grow , we tend to stop praising them as often as we did when they were younger, but this strategy can work against us.  teens still need a lot of positive affirmation .   If you feel your teenager has really low self-esteem and your efforts aren’t helping, then consider seeking some professional help.  Low self-esteem can cause many problems for adolescents and can continue to affect your child as she grows older.

2 . Family Values – Kids love to be part of something .  Make your family into a group onto itself and they will feel less of a need to find a teen clique to join.  This will prevent them, to some extent from being overly influenced by teen peer pressure.  Clearly definewhat the values are for your family or group – like how you feel about exercise, health, grades, and actions towards other others.   You will create a strong code of values for your child to draw upon. 

Pick Your Battles – you can’t prevent your child from facing peer pressure – as they grow it is important for kids to form ties with peer groups.  So react to your teen’s actions with care .  Your child’s desire to dress in all black may be a form of self-expression – and socially accepted by his peer group, but may not necessarily indicate that his grades are about to plummet.  Speak to your kid about his behavior to help gauge if it’s just him trying to find her style, or if risky or unpleasant behavior is far behind.

All teens get to a point where they feel the need to find out who they are – separate and apart from their family.  This usually brings them closer into the arms of their friends, and leaves them susceptible to peer pressure – which they see as being cool, rather than following the crowd.  If you have built your child up with a strong foundation of self-esteem and a sense of right and wrong behavior, than it may be time to sit back and give them a chance to figure out who they are.

However if you start to see signs of troubling behavior, like dropping grades, aggression, skipping school,  all because of teenager peer pressure, than assert your right as a parent and take action.

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