Sisterhood Agenda

10 Ways to Avoid Negative Peer Pressure

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Author Bhanu Uday wrote an interesting article about negative peer pressure.  Her tips to deal with it are right on point.  We want to share some of them with you, adding ways to avoid the negativity.

Negative peer pressure is very common. From alcohol and drug use to sexual behavior to bullying, teenagers are more likely to feel the pressure to do what their friends are doing. As Bhanu asserts:

“Teens are often characterized as being rebellious, selfish, and autonomous. Adolescence is an age where peers are the top priority. Everything else takes a back seat in comparison with her friends. It is at this time the character, personality of an individual is built.”

Adolescents test boundaries and experiment, often pushed to do so by their friends. Peer pressure is real and they do things under negative peer pressure that they would not normally do by themselves:

“I chose this because I want to feel accepted and valued by my friends, though I didn’t really want to do it.”

#1 Spend quality time

Teens need time.  This is key to parenting and also the key to good mentoring relationships.   Spend them with them, even if they act like they don’t need you, too.  The quality of time is important, too.

#2 Do not talk badly about parents

Most teenager are confused and just doesn’t understand parental behavior.  Most teenagers love their parents, even if they do not show it and talking negatively about them is not necessary or desirable.  Parents who pit the children against the other are just plain pitiful.

#3 Use your instincts

Even if you are not a parent, you have a natural instinct to help; maybe it’s your big sister instinct.  Remember to stay truthful and value a teenager’s need for privacy and confidentiality.  Understand the trust that you have developed.  Keep everyone safe.

#4 Value life skills

Role modeling starts at home and the values learned at home form a foundation that can last a lifetime. If teenagers do not have positive role models and value-modeling at home, they will have to unlearn certain behaviors and learn new ones.

#5 Develop your listening skills

Asking questions and listening to answers are the best way to get honest information and form a positive relationship.  This positive relationship can counter the negative peer pressure that teenagers inevitably face.

#6 Know her friends and activities

Get to know your teenager’s friends and their families. If they say they are going “out,” find out where and if you feel comfortable with it.  Visit friends’ homes and get to know their parents. Ask questions and go where she goes.

#7 Get comfortable talking about sexuality

Just because you talk about women’s sexuality doesn’t mean that your teenager is having sex.  Talking about it helps her become more comfortable in confiding in you and asking questions.  This is a great opportunity to talk about relationships, safer safe, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy.

#8 Watch them online

Girls are often victimized and bullied online.  They are lured to places with people whom they think are “friends” only to be sexually assaulted, kidnapped for human trafficking, or go missing.  Teach the risks and monitor their social media by joining their sites.

#9 Be aware of weight issues

Even as adults, we receive a lot of mixed signals about weight in terms of health, social standards, celebrity images, and reality.  It is natural for weight to fluctuate during teen years, especially as girls develop breasts and hips.  Make sure teenage girls know that they are loved and beautiful at any weight.

#10 Promote reading

Reading opens up a new world of learning and understanding on both local and global levels.  Some teenagers are unable to travel and books are a good way to travel without going anywhere. Even if they did not read a lot as children, it’s never too late to promote reading.

 

The text in this article has been changed and the original article first appeared on Women’s Web.

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