How to Help Your Daughter Handle Peer Pressure
WORDS BY Elizabeth Casciaro from Apricotton
As your daughter grows, so will the amount of peer pressure she faces. Pressure from friends to act a certain way can be brutal to deal with all on your own, especially when you’re so young—which is why it’s so vital for you as a parent to step in sometimes and lend your daughter a helping hand!
1. Stay calm and non-judgemental:
Often, when teens are dealing with peer pressure, they try to hide their struggles from their parents as they’re afraid of getting in trouble. But then, not only will your daughter have to deal with stress related to her social life, but she will also have a fear of what might happen at home in the back of her mind. If you feel like your daughter is hiding something, try not to push her, but let her know that you’re there to talk about anything, and she won’t face any repercussions by coming to you for help. Communicating will make it a lot less likely for your teen to find herself in any problematic or dangerous situations in the long run, as she knows that you can aid her in solving any problems from the start.
2. Celebrate her individuality:
As many girls approach and experience puberty, it seems like the last thing they want to do is stand out from the crowd. At what can feel like such an awkward stage for your daughter, she might likely feel like she needs to dress and act like everyone else, giving up her old style and hobbies. While it’s essential for her to explore new things and grow, it’s also equally important for her to remember her roots and not hold herself back from something she would enjoy because of her fear of looking “uncool.” You can help her celebrate her individuality by encouraging her interests. If she faces any bullying, reminding her that what matters most is doing whatever makes her happy and not following whatever other people think.
3. Please get to know her friends:
Staying up to date with your daughter’s social life is super important when it comes to helping her with peer pressure! Not only does it build a sense of trust and community with her friends, but you can also get a good idea of their personalities and make yourself aware of any red flags. Although it’s essential not to control her social life, as she gets farther into her teen years, it’s a good idea to at least keep a mental note of potentially harmful influences so that you’re less likely to be taken by surprise.
4. Understand that sometimes she’ll make mistakes:
Nobody’s perfect! Sometimes, your daughter and her friends might make poor decisions or find themselves in a bad situation. It’s normal for both tweens and teens —at this stage of your daughter’s life, she is growing and learning every day, and sometimes a little bit of trial and error is necessary. When this happens, it’s vital for you as a parent to treat it as a learning experience and not overreact.