Throughout high school, teens will face circumstances that will challenge their decision making, particularly when experiencing peer pressure.
It is important to assure your teen that they have a safe place where they can confide in an adult. Reassuring your teenager that they can share their challenges free from judgement will encourage future conversations.
Taking a proactive approach and discussing potential peer pressure scenarios will arm your teen with tools and strategies to cope when situations arise. Instead of telling your teen what to do in a situation, try the approach of posing questions, like those found on the Integrity-in-Action Checklist.
Remind your teen that when facing peer pressure, they ultimately must answer to themselves, they don’t have anything to prove to anyone, and they will live with the consequences of their decisions – good and bad. When faced with challenges, a teenager will benefit from forward thinking and understanding what matters is that they stay true to themselves and their values.
Transparency with teens goes a long way. Consider sharing a circumstance or decision you faced as a teenager and how you handled it – positively or negatively. Teens need to know that their parents (adult role models) faced peer pressure and were not exempt from overcoming challenges and making choices that were not always optimal.
Providing open dialogue with your teen throughout their challenging high school years is invaluable. Modeling trustworthiness and providing a safe space where they are comfortable confiding in you will help keep the communication lines open with your teen.