Video:How to Talk to Your Teen About Peer Pressurewith Patricia O'Laughlin
Learn how to talk to your teen about peer pressure so that you can create open and effective dialogue between you and your teen. Here are some tips on how to talk to your teen about peer pressure.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Talk to Your Teen About Peer PressureHi, my name is Patricia O'Laughlin and I am a Marriage and Family Therapist with TherapyForParents.com. Today I am talking to you on behalf of About.com on how to talk to your teen about peer pressure.
Give Examples of Peer Pressure When You Talk to Your TeenTalking to your child about peer pressure should begin in middle school. They really start to experience this at that time. When talking to your teen about peer pressure, remain calm. Engage in a discussion and watch out for lectures.
There are five things to consider when talking about peer pressure. The first thing is tell your teen that peer pressure is more often non-verbal than verbal. Often times, teens think that their friends will say to them "oh come on, just do it." Really, that doesn't happen that often. Most peer pressure is non-verbal and it comes from the teen's insecurities of wanting to be part of the group.
The second thing is give specific examples of what peer pressure is and in what situations they might experience peer pressure. They are going to need this education from you. That way, when it happens in the moment, they can recognize it.
Ask Questions When You Talk to Your Teen About Peer PressureThe third thing is to remember that sometimes talking to your teen and lecturing your teen can be worse than asking questions. Asking questions of your teen about what they think peer pressure is, and why they want to stay away, helps them elicit their own responses. This is very powerful and very important when talking about peer pressure.
The fourth thing is once you've had these discussions with your teen, develop a plan with them: What will they do when they feel like they're in a peer pressure situation? Then, role play that plan with them -- pretend like you are one of their friends and that they are in a situation and have them talk about how they're going to get out of that situation.
Offer Support When You Talk to Your Teen About Peer PressureAnd the fifth thing is to recognize that teens might find themselves in a situation even if they don't want it. Let them know that they can always call you, no matter what time it is in the day or night, to get your support. Also, give them numbers of other people they can contact in case they don't feel safe with you. The last thing you want is your teen to get in the car with a drunk driver because they don't feel safe contacting an adult.
Peer pressure is frequently unspoken and it is very powerful. It's really important to talk to your teen about this. No matter how confident a teenager is, part of the developmental stage of being a teenager is wanting to fit in. Talking to your teen about peer pressure, helping them develop a plan, is very important in keeping them safe.
Thank you so much for watching. For more information, visit us on the web About.com.
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