Most teens want to make good, healthy choices but find it tough to “say no” to their friends in a peer-pressure situation. It’s up to us as parents to provide our teens with the methods they need for saying no to risky behaviors such as drug and medicine abuse before they are put in an unhealthy situation.
An important part of educating teens about risky behaviors such as drug and medicine abuse is to talk to them openly and honestly about the influence their friends have on their decisions and their health. I recommend the following three methods to talk with your teen about risky behaviors and peer-pressure situations.
- Start the conversation by telling teens that you understand it could be difficult for them to say no to their friends in peer pressure situations.
- Talk through ways they can handle different scenarios in which their friends are peer pressuring them to engage in risky behaviors such as drug or medicine abuse.
- Help them devise an “exit” plan in case they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation with their peers. Come up with a code word that they can text or say over the phone that you will both understand as a call for help.
These are just a few of the many methods you can use to talk with teens about how to avoid risky behaviors and peer-pressured situations such as abusing drugs or medicines. Preparing teens with a variety of methods makes it easier for them to stand up to their peers and “just say no.” In the comments below, share how you teach your teen to say no to peer pressure and risky behaviors such as drug and medicine abuse.