Top 10 Tips for Parenting Teens


6
Cultivate Interests, Ease Peer Pressure
Let your teenager try out different activities -- such as sports, music or art -- so she can explore her interests and discover her strengths.
Let your teenager try out different activities -- such as sports, music or art -- so she can explore her interests and discover her strengths.
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The best way to combat peer pressure? Help your teen cultivate his interests. A teen with a strong sense of self is more likely to make the right decision in difficult, pressured moments [source: Domitrz]. Conversely, if a teen has low self-esteem, he is more likely to change his behavior to please others -- even if it means lowering his standards in a dangerous or unhealthy way.

Even if your teen isn't the outgoing type who eagerly pursues his interests, you can put him on the right path. Teens who have a history of getting into trouble should be encouraged to get involved in structured recreational and creative activities such as common-interest clubs [source: Direnfield].

A good rule of thumb is that your teen should be involved in at least one group, sport or club each semester of high school. Why is this so important in warding off peer pressure? Time spent doing these activities is time not spent getting into trouble with peers. Plus, these activities help teens discover their passions and, in large part, pressure-proof their identities.

If you'd really like to give your teen some perspective, consider an extended vacation -- even if it's during the school year. With a bit of planning, assignments can be coordinated with destinations. For example, a history lecture may soon be forgotten, but a walk through the Colosseum in Rome likely will not. In addition to bonding as a family, your teen will get a break -- and some perspective -- on teen pressures [source: MacNeille].