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Social Pressures & Young People: How A Parent Can Help

Young people are feeling a lot of social pressure these days. The desire to fit in, to get good grades, to make the team and to have a lot of friends is nothing new for teens and tweens. But with the growth of social media and electronic communication, many more teens are struggling to not get lost in the crowd and left behind, socially and academically.

Here are five helpful hints you can use as a parent to help "pressure-proof" your teen:

  • Identify what problems and social pressures your child is experiencing and the reasons behind them.
  • Protect your child by reducing the amount of time he or she spends in unsupervised activities where sources of social pressure are present.
  • Empower your child by teaching skills that will help him or her effectively deal with stressful, pressure-filled situations (tests, class presentations, team tryouts, school dances, dating).
  • Encourage your child to spend time with friends who have similar interests and who can be positive role models. This can help your child with issues like wanting to fit in and being accepted.
  • Maintain a strong, supportive relationship with your child. Talk often and keep the lines of honest communication open.

You can't always be there to protect your teen from the harsh realities of life. But you can teach your son or daughter some valuable ways to find relief in an often pressure-packed world.