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Five Tips to Overcome Parental Peer Pressure

A long time ago, most parents had similar views and beliefs about parenting. But time has changed drastically. Today there are many different theories and beliefs about parenting. The approach "one way fits every family" doesn't work any longer.

Neither is the "It takes a village to raise a child" approach appropriate anymore as well. Even close family members are chastised and often cut off if they attempt to chastise a child in the family. Still, there are many parents who feel pressured to ascribe to the ruling parenting theory of their immediate social peer group. Too often giving in to parental peer pressure. No one understands your teen like you do: too often teens are grouped together under the heading of "teens" and "characteristics" are given to each as if they are a homogenous group with no individuality. After all, isn't this a big complaint of theirs, they want to be themselves?

In acknowledging their differences as individuals, we must acknowledge that our parenting approach may need to be as individualized as they are. So When friends pressure you to use strategies that they use, that you know will not help your teen, RESIST following their advice!! Sure there is a risk that what you do may not work, but what they suggest you do, may not work either. At least you'll have the comfort of knowing that you lived out your own values.

These five strategies may help you avoid becoming a victim of Parental Peer Pressure:

  1. Relax and accept your different point of view! Where does the push for everybody to be the same come from? Teens are individuals and have different needs. While some teens need little supervision and promptings, other teens need close monitoring. Your distinct style may be perfect for your teens.

  2. Ignore the pressure to follow the leader. There is no such thing as the “best” parenting method. There are many roads to the same destination. Which route you choose will depend on your personality, your teen’s personality, and your shared goals.

  3. Don’t allow others to determine your values. You get to determine what is important to you and your family. Stick to your moral and ethical values. You may be criticized and sometimes even ostracized for your views, but sacrificing your values to “fit in” or “get along” will not lead you to happiness.

  4. Avoid people-pleasing behavior. It is impossible to please other people, primarily because someone else is influencing them. Too often people will tell you to do something that they haven’t done. When you are tempted to do something that you know isn't in your or your teen's best interest, take time and reflect on why you are getting ready to do what you are going to do.

  5. Stand up for what you believe, because your teens are watching. Maybe teens are struggling so much with peer pressure because parents haven’t modeled how to manage peer pressure. Be an example for your teen.

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