Peer pressure is a powerful force. If you remember being a teenager, which most of us do with regret, you know just how important it is for young people to fit in with their peers. We all want to be a part of the group and to avoid being too different. In many ways this instinct is positive. This drive helps us learn from a young age how to get along and connect with others. Too often, though, peer pressure leads to bad choices and negative consequences. If you want to protect your teen from damaging decisions, you need to talk to her about peer pressure and substance abuse.
Drug And Alcohol Use In Teens
One of the most negative ways in which peer pressure can influence your teen is to make a bad choice about drugs or drinking. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your child would never use drugs or start drinking at a young age. No teen is immune from the pressure to fit in by making these choices. Drinking is the most common form of substance abuse among teens. Teenage drinking statistics show that most high school students drink. We also know that half of all high school seniors have used a drug of some kind. Any teen could make the choice to drink or abuse drugs.
Talk To Your Teen About Peer Pressure
The single most powerful influence over your teen’s decisions is you. This may come as a surprise, but you trump peers, teachers, the media and celebrities. You have the power to help your teen make the right choices and to shape her values. The important thing is that you talk to her. Drug abuse facts show that teens whose parents have talked to them about drugs are significantly more likely to abstain.
How To Talk To Your Teen
So how do you talk to your teen about this important but difficult subject? Start early and do it often. Find a time when she isn’t distracted by homework, television or her phone. Stress to her first and foremost that you find any underage drinking and any experimentation with drugs unacceptable. Then have a real conversation. Invite her to ask you questions and to talk about what she has already experienced in terms of peer pressure and making tough choices. Talk to her about the importance of making her own decisions, even in the face of all that pressure to fit in.
Benefits Of Talking To Your Teen About Peer Pressure
Having conversations with your teen about drinking, drugs and peer pressure will not only empower her to make better choices, but also help the two of you to establish a better relationship. She will know that she can come to you with problems and questions and that you will listen. Drinking and drug use in high school are facts, but your teen doesn’t have to be a part of it.
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