As kids transition into their teen years, they start to experience a lot of peer pressure. It becomes less important for them to fit in at home and more important for them to fit in with their friends. Though this can be frustrating for parents, it’s an important step in growing up. During this time in life, teens learn how to interact with others in more adult ways. They develop the social skills necessary to guide them into adulthood.
Peer pressure tends to get a bad rap because so many teens fall prey to negative peer pressure. They can be coaxed into doing things that they normally wouldn’t do just to save face and keep their friends. However, peer pressure isn’t always a bad thing. Teens who develop positive leadership skills can also be a positive influence on their teen peers.
How to help your son become a positive influence
Being a positive influence goes beyond just not getting in trouble. Your teen needs to learn how to ignore negative peer pressure, but it’s also important for him to learn how to be a positive leader in his group. As a parent, there are a few things that you can do to help your son become a positive influence on his friends.
Get involved in extracurricular activities
Help your son find positive extracurricular activities that he enjoys. For many teens, joining a team or club at school helps them develop leadership skills. They learn the discipline needed to show up on time, follow through with commitments, and practice new skills. They also get the chance to meet other kids with similar interests. As they get to know one another and develop as a team, they can encourage each other to uphold high standards.
Meet new people
Some kids are naturally outgoing, and others are not. If your teen is an extrovert, he will likely make many new friends and get to know a lot of people. If he is quieter, he might be hesitant to come out of his shell. In either situation, encourage him to be friendly to new kids. By going out of his way to be friendly to new people, he will make them feel more accepted and create a more welcoming environment.
The teen years can be tough. Teenagers try to develop their own identity, but they also want to be liked. Encourage your son to be genuine even when it’s not popular. If he’s true to himself, his personality and confidence will shine through. Even if he gets teased for it, some of the other kids will recognize that he is not fake. People who aren’t genuine don’t get the respect of their peers.
Show respect to everyone
Even if he doesn’t agree with someone, your son still needs to show them respect. Rather than trying to humiliate someone he doesn’t like, he should still act respectfully toward them. This can be hard for a lot of teenagers, especially when their peers are egging them on. If your son’s peers learn that he won’t be mean just to get a laugh, they will start having more respect for him as well.
Talk to your son regularly about his behavior and his interactions with his friends. Encourage him to keep being a positive influence to his teen peers. If he learns positive leadership skills during his teen years, they will serve him well as an adult.
If your son struggles with leadership and tends to cave to others, he might benefit from attending Sundance Canyon Academy. While at the school, students participate in life skills training to give them the confidence they need to excel in leadership roles. Contact us today for more information.