Friendships, Relationships and Peer Pressure: How to Support Your Teen

Entering the teenage years brings many changes for young people. As well as physical and emotional development, your teen will be navigating new social situations and facing increased peer pressure. While exciting, this time can also be daunting and stressful. As a parent or foster carer, it’s important to provide support and guidance to help your teen make healthy choices.

How to Support Your Teen

Developing Independence

During the teenage years, young people begin to develop their independent identity separate from their families. They spend more time with friends and peer groups start to play a stronger role in influencing their values, interests and behaviours. As a parent or carer, you need to respect your teen’s growing independence while still providing love and support and setting appropriate boundaries. Keep communication open so they feel comfortable coming to you for advice.

Managing Friendships

Friendships are vital for teens, providing companionship, emotional support and a sense of belonging. However, they can also experience fallouts or get pressured by peers into risky situations. Talk to your teen about managing friendships, respecting others and resisting negative peer influence. Advise them to spend time with friends who make them feel accepted. If your teen experiences bullying or unhealthy friendships, work with them to address these issues sensitively.

Exploring Romance

Many teens will start to form romantic relationships and go on dates. Approach this positively, making it clear they can talk to you about relationships. Discuss treating partners with respect and not rushing into intimacy. Ensure they know about consent and safe sex. If a relationship becomes unhealthy, don’t criticise their choice of partner but focus on how to deal with the situation. Reassure them you are there to help.

Setting Boundaries

As teens explore relationships, continue to set age-appropriate boundaries around when and how long they can go out and who with. Social media and smartphones mean you have less control over who they interact with, so maintain open communication. Explain your rules are for their well-being and safety, not to restrict their independence. Consistent boundaries demonstrate care.

Drugs, Alcohol and Parties

Peer pressure around drugs, alcohol and parties peaks during the teenage years. Discuss the risks candidly with your teen and make your expectations clear. Explain that you want to keep them safe rather than stop their fun. Develop a plan for dealing with peer pressure, like having an excuse prepared to leave a risky situation. Work together to ensure they can get home safely from parties, for example, by arranging a pickup.

Seeking Support

Adjusting to teenage years can be challenging for carers too. Seek support from other parents and talk to your fostering agency such as if you have any concerns. They can provide guidance on setting boundaries and dealing with issues like school pressures, challenging behaviour and mental health struggles. It takes a village to raise a teen, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

With open communication, clear boundaries and plenty of support, you can guide your teen through this life stage. Stay involved in their life, offer non-judgemental advice and reassure them you are there whenever they need you. The teenage years are an exciting new chapter, so focus on the positives and embrace the change together.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top