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:
- Substance use
- 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.
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.