The following five suggestions are based on one premise: the more you can boost your teen’s sense of self-confidence the better protection he or she has against peer pressure. The following suggestions are those that facilitate high self-esteem, self-love, and self-confidence.
1. Be helpful. Teach your child to manage stress in healthy ways, such as seeking help from a trusted adult or engaging in a favorite activity. You can also teach their teens about relaxation techniques and how to use them. Relaxation can create a psychological state that can invite solutions to stressful situations. In most cases, feeling relaxed helps with having to face a large amount of homework, chores, and other responsibilities. Furthermore, when you model making time for stress-relieving activities, it communicates that it’s important. In this way, teens are learning how to take care of themselves. And knowing how to care of themselves can help teens make safer choices when faced with a risky or dangerous invitation from their peers.
2. Be positive. Look for the good in your child. Instead of seeing the A he should have gotten, praise him on the B that he did get. Instead of seeing the marks that your daughter got on her term paper, praise her for researching and completing the paper in the first place. The emphasis on what he or she is doing well can help those positive behaviors grow, and support your teen in curbing peer pressure.
3. Be aware. Know your child’s friends (and friends’ family members), and be aware of their habits and attitudes. Knowing what your teen is up against can help you support him or her in specific areas where he might need support. For instance, your teen might need help in being assertive or in communication skills or standing up for himself. Knowing the dynamics of your teen’s relationships with peers can support you understanding your teen’s needs.
4. Be honest. Help your child understand that he doesn’t have to do something wrong to feel accepted by his peers, and that his real friends won’t pressure him to drink, smoke, or use illicit drugs. Instead,
5. Be loving. Children need your unconditional love and support, both in good times and bad, to manage stress, resist peer pressure, and thrive in their daily life. In fact, the relationship between child and parent is essential during adolescence. During adolescence, it’s typical for your teen to want to pull away. He or she will want to spend more time with friends and avoid your gestures of affection. Nonetheless, showing that you are there for your teen, making sure that you have a relationship that is open and honest can send a certain message. It communicates that your teen can come to you when he or she needs to. A few ways to facilitate this include:
- Set aside each day to talk.
- Find out what your teen is excited about.
- Praise his or her achievements.
- Offer positive feedback.
- Respond to your child’s anger with calm assurance versus more aggression
Another way to love teens and build a strong sense of self in them is to accept them for who they are. Parents can so easily place their own expectations upon a teen who is in the process of discovering what they want to do with their life. Parents might expect their child to go to law school when in fact he or she might want to become an artist. Furthermore, it might be more meaningful for an adolescent to travel after high school rather than head straight to college. To facilitate a sense of meaning in teens, parents can focus on teaching and loving their child rather than choosing for them. It’s important for teens to have the space and autonomy they need to make the choices that are going to be support living a fulfilling and meaningful life.
These tips are meant to support the self confidence in your child so that he or she can make powerful choices that are in favor of safety, autonomy, self-discovery, and self-love.