Dealing with peer pressure is something almost every teen will encounter at some point. Unfortunately, peer pressure can lead teens to engage in activities and behaviours that are not conducive to successful, healthy lives. Fortunately, several strategies can help teens better learn how to deal with sources of peer pressure in their lives. To learn more about helping your teen with peer pressure, call Venture Academy at 866.762.2211. We can help.
What Is Peer Pressure?
Peer pressure is a social influence that encourages individuals to conform to the expectations of their peer group, and it can be both positive and negative. Positive peer pressure is when peers encourage each other to make good choices, while negative peer pressure can involve pressuring one another into making bad choices. Peer pressure often increases during adolescence as teens strive to fit in with their peers and become accepted by the group.
Examples of negative peer pressure include being pressured into:
- Drug or alcohol use
- Acting disrespectfully
- Skipping school
- Driving recklessly
- Staying out past curfew
- Dangerous behaviour or dares
- Getting involved with bad influences
Peer pressure can be difficult to resist as teens may feel like they have no other option but to conform. This is especially true for adolescents who are struggling to find a sense of belonging or acceptance from their peers. Teens may feel obligated to give in to peer pressure out of fear of being isolated from the group or not accepted.
The good news is that teens have a variety of strategies they can employ to cope with peer pressure and make healthy decisions, such as:
- Learning to say no
- Not being afraid to leave a situation
- Seeking out positive support
- Pausing to think about the consequences
Knowing how to deal with peer pressure will help your teen be better prepared to navigate life and able to recognise and avoid potentially dangerous situations as they grow up.
Dealing With Peer Pressure as a Teen
Fortunately, there are many ways for teens to avoid the pitfalls of peer pressure. Some of these include learning to say no, being comfortable with leaving a negative situation, having a positive support system, and considering the consequences.
Learn to Say No Confidently
It might sound like a small thing, but sometimes the key to dealing with peer pressure is simply learning how to say no. Keep in mind that when someone says no with a weak voice or if they sound unsure, then the pressure might continue. When teens can stand up for themselves and confidently decline an offer of drugs or alcohol, they are often left alone. For many teens, practising saying no out loud in front of the mirror is the simplest place to start.
Don’t Be Afraid to Leave an Environment With Peer Pressure
Teens, just like all humans, want to belong. That’s why even when peer pressure makes someone feel uncomfortable, they still stay in a potentially harmful environment. Whenever possible, it makes sense to leave the environment where peer pressure exists.
Remember that leaving doesn’t have to be a permanent exit. However, it can show that you’re serious about sticking to your beliefs. If you leave an environment because of peer pressure, your peers are less likely to give you a hard time in the future. They will know that you’re not giving in, and the pressure might stop altogether.
Seek Out Positive Support
A lot of teenagers feel like they are alone or they are the only ones not using drugs and alcohol. By reaching out and looking for a positive support system, teenagers can feel much less lonely. It is also a lot easier to resist peer pressure if you have a partner who also wants to avoid risky or dangerous behaviours.
Think About the Consequences of Giving in to Peer Pressure
It is no secret that there are consequences to your actions. In the moment, however, it can be hard to remember the consequences. That’s why it is important for teenagers to think about what will happen if they give in to peer pressure. Instead of focusing on what your friends might think if you abstain, think about what will happen if you give in. Certain activities could negatively impact your health, relationships, or future.
Additionally, counselling and professional help are available to teens struggling with peer pressure and impulsive or risky behaviour.
Learning How to Deal With Peer Pressure at Venture Academy
If you’re searching for help for troubled teens in Canada, then Venture Academy may be able to help. Mental health treatment and a wide range of services help teens overcome risky patterns of behaviour and learn to be stronger in the face of peer pressure. Effective services at Venture Academy include:
- 30-day assessment and evaluation
- Teen-specific education
- Small group processes
- Individualised therapy
- Long-term approach to wellness
Dealing with peer pressure is challenging, especially for teens. At Venture Academy, with Canadian locations in Kelowna, Red Deer and Barrie, teens can get the help they need to lead happier, healthier lives. Call 866.762.2211 or fill out our online contact form to learn more and take the next step.