Many parents who have teens worry about the influences their children’s friends have on them. Most parents believe that friends and peers are the biggest influence on their child. Although your teen’s friends do have an impact on the choices your little one makes, the value of a parent’s influence still counts for much more.
What children learn from their friends and the effects of peer pressure?
A lot of mums and dads are concerned that their teenager’s years seem to be starting long before they hit 13. At the age of ten, parents find that their child has already grown very fast, shutting out family to spend time with friends.
By the time they spread their wings and became more independent, they no longer wanted to speak to parents about major issues such as sex, relationships and drugs. Instead, they were more influenced by their mates and the media.
However, research shows that many young people would actually prefer to be able to speak to their parents about these topics, rather than getting a distorted view from friends and media.
Talking to your teen about peer pressure
Parents who are worried about peer pressure could focus on creating an environment at home where their teen will be open to speak honestly with them.
It’s usually a lot easier to introduce these topics while doing something else, for instance, going for a walk or just doing the dishes while talking can be more comfortable than sitting down for a big conversation.
Some parents find it useful to use stories in television programmes or films to approach difficult subjects. This can be a good way of finding out what their tween is feeling, without asking them directly.
Let your child know that they can always come to you for advice and support, just make sure you remain calm when they open up to you.
Let them express themselves and always listen before you respond. Once they know they can be honest with you, they will find it a lot easier to come back for advice the next time around.