How to help your teen deal with peer pressure…
We forget how challenging it is being a teen. This is where the real questioning begins. It’s through this crazy beautiful stage that we begin to question who we are and what we are really about. It’s an existential phase where we begin searching for our own identity: What is our style, our likes and preferences, pursuing our sense of belonging, our friends and our own community.
As our teens begin to dive in to the push-pull effect they are trying to figure out what’s real for them and their peers- their values and beliefs. As parents it can be challenging to observe our teens go through peer pressure at school. We sometimes feel discouraged in not knowing how to best support our teenagers through such a critical age.
The first step is to understand that peer pressure is normal and very necessary for teens to evoke their own persona. It’s through the questioning that we begin to evolve our own sense of identity and belonging. Through our thoughts we begin to give form to our purpose and roles. The second gem is to really become aware that when our teen is experiencing peer pressure, we must understand the outer reflection of what’s going on for what it is. The outside world of events is merely a projection of the inner battle our teen is facing. The inner picture is the source of conflict really residing within our teen.
The third step is to connect to our own inner dialogue. Start dismantling the projection that we have through innovative questions that lead to powerful stands of grace. This is key. Begin to ask yourself what is the lesson for my teen and for myself with these turn of events? Create the space for your teen to breathe life into this situation by asking them the questions no one would probably ask. What does this specific kind of peer pressure reflect back to them? What’s the lesson? What’s the question they might be asking themselves? Begin to turn the statements of WHY into WHAT.
As parents we will see our teens cry and resist the situation, asking “why me,” or “why is this happening to me”. Let’s begin to turn those spiraling questions into ‘what can I learn about myself from this situation.’ What can I do about this with a new perspective? What opportunities are staring me right in the face? How can I empower myself through what’s going on?
Our immediate reaction is to try to “fix” the situation. We try to impose our own will and beliefs on what should be done. But it’s so crucial to STOP and allow our teens to step up and rise to the occasion. Allow them to answer through their own thoughts and beliefs, and act on who they should be in this endless pursuit of finding out who they really are. Our goal as parents is to simply create the space for purposeful questions. Purposeful questioning is pivotal for your teen’s success and social emotional growth. Trust them enough to know their way.
For more information about how you can support your teen, visit the link below: