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Five Healthy Methods to Educate Teens on How to Deal with Peer Pressure

Posted May 16 2013 7:00am

Smiling Teenagers Many of us look back on our teenage years and remember the time as carefree, but spending my days teaching high school math has helped me keep a less sentimental view of teenage life. Today, so many teens are incredibly stressed out – especially the high-achieving ones.

In addition to juggling school work and extracurricular activities, teens also face pressure to be accepted by their peers.  In many cases, the pressure to “fit in” can be so stressful that even intelligent teens abandon their good judgment.

With summer right around the corner, teens will likely be spending more time with their friends unwinding from the pressures of the school year. For this very reason, parents need to start the conversation about peer pressure and give teens the support they need to make healthy decisions this summer.

Below are a few methods parents can use to help their teen make healthy decisions when it comes to peer pressure from their friends:

  1. Don’t lecture your teen, have a conversation with them. To have an effective discussion, create a two-way dialogue with your teen instead of just telling them what they should do or how they should react in certain situations with their peers.
  2. It’s never too late to start the conversation, or too early. Talk often and openly with your teen about peer pressure and risky behaviors, including drugs or over-the-counter cough medicine abuse.
  3. Provide your teen with the tools they need to make healthy decisions. Empower them to say no to peer pressure and inform them about the health risks associated with drug and medicine abuse.
  4. Educate yourself on the signs of drug and medicine abuse; monitor your medicine cabinet and your teen’s on and offline activities. If you suspect your teen or their friends are abusing cough medicine, talk to them. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
  5. Talk through the ways your teen can handle different scenarios in which their friends are peer pressuring them to engage in risky behaviors such as drug or medicine abuse. You should help them devise an “exit” plan in case they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation with their peers over the summer.

While there are many different ways to approach the conversation of peer pressure and risky behaviors with your teen, these are a few of the methods you can use to get the conversation started. I encourage you to watch my video and download our conversation starters for more ideas on how to talk to your teen about these issues. How do you teach your teen to make healthy decisions when it comes to peer pressure and risky behaviors such as drug and medicine abuse?

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