Do you worry that your teen is hanging around with the wrong crowd? Monitor social activities and supervise parties. Before your teen attends a social event, contact the host teen’s parents to make sure that the party will be supervised by adults and won’t involve alcohol or other dangerous behaviors. Don’t ban a friend. If your teen has a friend you disapprove of, possibly the worst thing to do is forbid your teen from seeing that friend. Teens value their friendships highly and defend friends strongly. If you directly attack a friend, your son or daughter will feel compelled to defend the friend and explain all of the “good” features of the friendship. A better strategy is to include the friend you disapprove of in some family activities. Then you get a chance to know the friend and share your family values.
Encourage more friends. Encourage your son or daughter to participate in after- school programs, religious functions, or community centers where they can meet other teens with appropriate values. Making more friends helps prevent undue influence by a single “bad” friend. Help teens avoid high-risk group situations. The most dangerous situations for teens are unsupervised group activities and parties. Teens find it especially tough to stand up against a group of friends pushing him or her to do something illegal, like drink alcohol. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your teen’s activities and make sure he or she avoids these high-risk settings. Also, discuss ways your teen can resist peer pressure to prepare for dangerous situations that might arise.
More Teens, More Risk Teens find it hard to resist peer pressure, especially in a group. Help your teen steer clear of trouble by monitoring his or her activities.
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