Teenagers face consistent and intense social stressors. Peer pressure is a major social stressor for youth. Pressure to fit in with a group, pressure to wear the "right" clothes, and pressure to behave like your friends all contribute to your stress level. Whether these stressors lead to distress (negative stress) have a lot to do with how you manage your stress levels. Do you have strategies in place to deal with your children’s peer pressure? How about choosing friends – are you involved in their friendships?
What should you do?
Keep Communication Open
- Many times teenagers will not talk to their parents from fear of criticism, ridicule, or punishment for what they say or do. When your son or daughter speaks to you, keep an open mind and try to listen without judging.
Know their Friends - The best way to know what is going on at school or what teenagers do outside of school is to know the friends and their parents, if possible. Be careful, if you disapprove of these friends and voice this to your teen, your teen may cling to them even more. Adolescents want to make their own decisions on whom to be friends with because they believe people have told them who to be friends with their whole life. You may not be able to stop your child from being friends with certain people but you can talk to him or her about the activities these people are engaging in.
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