All teens are susceptible to peer pressure by simply being in this age group. They are just doing what kids their age do. Experts suggest that peer pressure is especially difficult to resist at this age as lots of teens:
Want to fit in and be part of a group
Want to do what other kids are doing
Don't want to feel awkward or uncomfortable
Have a fear of rejection
Don’t have the knowledge to get out of a pressured situation
Don’t know what they really want.
What can parents do to help?
It can be hard for parents not to take their teen’s challenging behaviour personally. It’s important to try to remember that this behaviour is normal and they aren’t rejecting you so much as they are trying to establish their own identity.Your teen still needs your help to make good, healthy decisions even if he doesn’t like it or want to admit it. Help them to navigate the pressures that come with being a teen by:
Helping them learn to say no:
It can be challenging trying to resist the pressures of saying no when all the other kids seem to do be doing it too. Teach your child how to respond when they are confronted with a request to; “come drinking with us, it beats studying”.
Develop good self-esteem:
Make sure to take the time to praise your child by celebrating his achievements. A child who feels good about himself is more likely to resist negative peer pressure and make better choices.
Choose their friends wisely:
Lots of people, peers and adults included, try to pressure kids to make bad choices. Having friends with good values and good self-esteem will help your child to stay away from risky behaviour and unwanted peer pressure.
Help yourself by learning to stay calm:
If your child wants to do something you aren’t happy with, try not to overact. At least they have come to you beforehand. Try to see it from their point of view, sit down and have an open conversation with them about it. Just remember, that as the parent you have the final word.
Stay in your kids' lives:
Even though it probably doesn’t seem like it, children of this age still look up to their parents and value their opinion. Keep the lines of communication open and talk about their interests, achievements, friends, what music they like and what bothers them.