Addressing Our Own Peer Pressures

Kids aren’t the only ones facing peer pressure when it comes to teen drinking. Adults often find it difficult to talk to each other about it as well.  We are afraid of judgement from our peers. It’s difficult to hear that we are being naïve  when we believe that we can help teens resist the temptations to drink.

Here are a few ways you can bring up this sensitive subject to help other adults understand how important it is to be educated and know the facts.

  • Start Conversations where parents gather  —  sporting events, school performances, PTA meetings, church or synagogue
    • Say what you know.
    • Be prepared to hear that you are naïve or out of touch?
    • Explain your philosophy about…
    • Use Chat lists to begin a dialogue and share good information/websites.
  • Start your own peer group.  You don’t have to be the only one.  Connect with
    • Parents who call hosts before a party.
    • Parents who will say no or negotiate more acceptable plans for their teenagers.
    • Parents who plan novel, exciting, alcohol free events (click here.)
    • Parents who believe in talking to teens openly about their own values.
  • Call parents who are hosting high school parties
    • Confirm that they know there is a party
    • Ask about plans for the party
    • Will parents be supervising the party or just be present in the house?
    • When will the party end?
    • Is there anything that you can bring?  Do they need any help with supervising?
  • Ask your school what they are doing
    • Once is not enough.  Research shows that successful prevention programs incorporate a variety of methods of education and are not a one-shot approach.
    • Have good speakers talk about topical issues for parents of teens.  Attend the discussions.  Schools quit when attendance is low.
  • Have parent dinners or living room chats
    • Acknowledge different views about parenting teenagers, and be armed with good data.
    • Establish that you are not the only mean parents in town.  Agree with other parents about curfews, hanging out at malls, or what kinds of socializing/parties are okay.
    • Agree that it’s OK to call and be called by other parents when faced with the inevitable “Everyone else gets to . . .”

Remember Our Kids Are Watching.

If we can’t do it,

how do we expect them to?

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