It’s so easy to forget just how pervasive peer pressure is as a kid and how susceptible kids are to peer pressure when they’re young. In fact, it’s one of the big differences between adolescents and adults.

Teenage Peer Pressure Is Common And Expected

“During early adolescence in particular, teenagers are drawn to the immediate rewards of a potential choice and are less attentive to the possible risks,” says Laurence Steinberg of Temple University. “Second, teenagers in general are still learning to control their impulses, to think ahead, and to resist pressure from others.”

So, you see, one of the common hallmarks of being a teen is dealing with more peer pressure than a typical adult and having an underdeveloped ability to deal with it.

When your teenager encounters peer pressure, understand that it should be expected and that you can help your teenager deal with it.

How To Deal With Teenage Peer Pressure

It’s a natural process that your teenager needs to develop coping mechanisms to combat. While you might have the urge to intervene, the best strategy is to be supportive and help your teenage develop those skills on his or her own.

A few ways to support those skills include:

Encouragement: Give your children genuine, heartfelt compliments. Tell them you love them. Compliment them on what they do well. Compliment them on their uniqueness. It helps build confidence that helps them resist the urge to be like everyone else. Pick them up when they fall: You child is going to make mistakes. It’s part of being human. You make mistakes of your own all the time. While the mistakes may present opportunities to teach a lesson, make your best effort not to judge your children for their mistakes. Encourage them to cultivate their own identities: One of the easiest ways to fall victim to negative peer pressure is that constant, never-ending need to “fit in.” By helping your child develop an identity independent from friends or other people, you child stands the best chance of avoiding the need to do something because “everyone else is doing it.” Look out for fun things to do and help your children develop interests in things that they truly like. Dealing With Teenage Peer Pressure Is A Process

Your teenager isn’t always going to resist peer pressure. It’s OK, most people give into peer pressure at some point in their life. As long as you’re there to support your child, encourage your child to be the best they can be, and focusing on ways to get your child involved in the community, you’ll give your child the best to chance to resist peer pressure in the future.