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Parenting Teens

Peer Pressure
Political Process and Teens
Positive Attitude
Put A Ring In It!
Racism
R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Respectful Communications
Ring-A-Ding-Ding
Risky Business
Sharing Cultural Heritage
Sibling Relationships
Single Parenting Teen
Sexism
Social Life and Teens
Suicide and Your Teen
Teen Depression
Teen Volunteerism
Teen's First Car
Teen's Hygiene
Teens and Body Image
Teens and Death
The Bully Pulpit
Up In Smoke
Victory or Defeat
What's Eating Her...
Why Don't I Understand...
You Are What You Eat

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Feel the Heat:  Helping Your Teen Cope With Peer Pressure

The first and best step you can take to help your teen avoid peer pressure is to make sure they feel good about themselves.  Let them know that you value and support them as a person.  Encourage your teen to be a leader, not a follower, and let them know that you believe in their ability to make good decisions for themselves.  Make sure they feel competent when interacting with others so that they do not feel compelled to go along with those they see as more with it than they are.

Next, keep the lines of communication open.  Don't just ask the "how was your day" questions.  Go deeper.  Ask about who they saw and what they did.  Get to know there friends by name and ask about them from time to time.  Then really listen.  Ask follow up questions that let your teen know that you care about both them and those around them.

On the other hand, be careful not to show too much interest in their peers.  Make sure you are not unconsciously encouraging them to fit in.  Avoid praising them for being popular, or pushing them too much to make friends at school.  Most of all, don't paint an unrealistic picture of your high school days by exaggerating your own popularity.  Likewise, avoid giving the impression you were completely miserable without friends.  Let them know that you can relate to both the ups and downs of relationships.

Finally, recognize the value of positive peer pressure.  Get to know your teen's friends, and their parents.  Talk with the other adults in their life and make sure that you are on the same page on issues like drinking, sex, etc.  Encourage your teen to hang around others their age who share your family's values.  In that way they can encourage each other to do the right thing, even when others are not.

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

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