Dealing With Teen Temptations Before They Become Problems

Teens are overwhelmed daily by external pressure. The media portrays the ideal image of perfection; their friends tell them how to act; their teachers stress the importance of good grades. Everyone around them wants them to act, dress and look a certain way. There are many temptations each and every day, some positive, some negative and some much more dangerous than others. As a parent, there is a lot you can do to help your son or daughter deal with teen temptations.

Communication is key

First, start by having an honest, open conversation with your child about the struggles they are facing. Some typical teen temptations to ask about include:

  • Alcohol
  • Substance use
  • Sex
  • Extreme dieting or excessive exercising
  • Lying to their parents
  • Cheating on schoolwork

Remember to ask open-ended questions that won’t result in a “yes,” “no,” or shrug and walk away. Talk to them about the consequences of high-risk behaviors and teach them ways to not only overcome teen temptations, but also avoid them in the first place.

Avoid situations

Though it seems rudimentary, if you know there is going to be alcohol at a party your child wants to go to or you know your daughter’s boyfriend is home alone, just say no. Even if it means your teen will be outraged, it will only be temporary. Offer other options your child might enjoy, such as inviting their friends to have a sleepover or going to watch a movie that just came out.

Choosing the right friends

Despite your desire to pick your teen’s friends, it doesn’t usually work out that well. Banning a child from hanging out with a certain person typically just fuels their desire to be friends. Instead of sharing your concern right away, ask your teen about the friendship. What do they like about that person? What interests do they have in common?

“Encourage your child to have a wide variety of friends. If they have buddies from dancing class and Scouts, as well as school, they will be exposed to many children with different ideas and interests.” – Rachel Lewis, The National

Confidence and teen temptations

Most teens give in to pressure from peers and the media out of guilt and the need to fit in. Building your child’s confidence can ensure he or she not only resists teen temptations, but also makes healthy, positive choices in most circumstances.

If you are concerned about the choices your teen is making or know your teen is struggling with peer pressure, call us today at 800-975-7303.

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Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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