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Teens, peer pressure, and drug use

Helping your teen stand up to peer pressure

Peer pressure is a powerful force in the life of your teen, and it can be both a positive or a negative influence. A peer group can often have more influence on a teen’s choices than their parents, so making sure your teen knows how to stand up to peer pressure is important if its the bad type of influence. It can be very difficult for teens to go against their peers, especially regarding teen drinking or drug use. So, start early in giving them the tools they might need to resist negative pressure.

Here are some brief tips to get the conversation started with your teen. We suggest that you hold frequent and open conversations with your young adult. And if you need help, call in a professional! If you have any additional questions about helping your teen navigate the territory of growing up and avoiding drug use, please send us a comment. We’ll be sure to respond to you with a personal and prompt reply.

How to help your teen with peer pressure

1. Understand this brief psychology lesson.

Helping your teen stand up to peer pressure starts with what kind of friends and people they surround themselves with. A little psychology lesson is a great way to help your teen understand why their peers might be pressuring others to act or think a certain way. Teens want to be accepted and also be independent, so many teens pressure others to act in certain ways to validate themselves. When your teen can understand the motive behind their peers’ message, it can boost their ability to analyze the situation better.

2. Encourage your teen to do the right thing.

Another thing you’ll want to help your teen understand is that choosing to do what is right is always better and braver than caving in. If some teens are behaving badly or causing harm to another, your teenager may be afraid of ridicule if they point out the problems. However, the teen who takes pride in doing the right thing and helping others will have much more incentive to speak out than one who has no empathy or compassion for another.

3. Visualize situations before they happen.

Parents can help their teens stand up to peer pressure by deciding how to act in certain situations before they happen. For example, work out with your teen some acceptable ways to turn down drugs or alcohol if offered. You can even role play some scenarios to get your teen to feel more comfortable in refusing, changing the subject, giving an excuse or leaving the group. Remind your teen to stay calm and confident and their peers may respect their position sooner. Further, teen girl addictions may differ than teen boy addictions; do a little research and speak with teachers, doctors, or law enforcement about drug use patterns in your tow, city, or neighborhood.

4. Set limits and talk through the consequences.

Finally, parents should help their teens understand the consequences of their actions and whether they are worth it. One of the most effective ways to reduce teen drug or alcohol abuse is to model the real world in terms of consequences. For example, it may be fun to break curfew, but that would mean being grounded from the fun activity next week. Or, it may seem cool to smoke that cigarette, but the health consequences are too severe to risk. Arming short-sighted teens with long-term vision is one of the best lessons a parent can teach when it comes to resisting peer pressure.

Empower your teen stand for deeper values

Helping your teen stand up to peer pressure is a sure way to empower them to make their own decisions rather than cave in to the group’s ideas. Your teenager will be more likely to find success in work, school and relationships when they can think for themselves and resist peer pressure.

Still have questions? Please leave us your comments or feedback in the section below. We try our best to respond to legitimate queries with a personal and prompt response.

Photo credit: ZibalMedia

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2 Responses to “Teens, peer pressure, and drug use
9:32 am May 15th, 2015

Oh man, this is a tough one. In my experience with my years spent in active addiction. I’ve come to believe and understand that 9 times out of 10 the social pressure to use or drink far outways the need to live a sober and successful life. Statements like they are all doing it are thrown around. Thoughts like, it won’t happen to me. I come from a good home, I’ve got control, and the famed just once are super dangerous. Honestly I wouldn’t know how to combat the need for a teenager to feel like they are part of something. This is a tough one

10:12 am May 15th, 2015

Hi Bethesda. I completely agree with you. While we have the biological need to fit in a group, we also have our consciousness and can keep telling ourselves the things you numbered. Our ability to deceive ourselves into believing our thoughts is sometimes our worst enemy.

About Tyler Jacobson

Tyler is a freelance writer/journalist, with past experience as the head content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. His areas of focus include: parenting, education, social media, addiction, and issues facing teenagers today.