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TransformationStarts With You
Woman Being Free

HELPING YOUR TEEN COPE WITH PEER PRESSURE

Dear WORRIED:

A 16-year-old is very vulnerable to influence by his or her friends.  Peer pressure can exercise a great deal of power over your daughter's lifestyle and decisions, only if she allows it to interfere.
Your daughter needs to know from you that you do not approve of these teenagers she socializes with; you need to tell her your objections and your concerns.  Take a firm stand in what you are or not willing to tolerate from her. Your leverage as a parent is the privileges that you have given her.  Take a look at those and ask yourself if she deserves them; tell her that until she decides to make some new choices for herself - that are also agreeable to you, she may have to stay home. The areas of allowance, television, computer, cell phone are some other points of negotiations you may use. The important thing here is for you to stick with the limits you set for her.  Remember that teenagers often know what they want but not what they need.   You are the parent and it is your responsibility to help her get what she really needs out of life and out of herself. Dr. Hamm Ginot has written an excellent book about parent-teen communications.  It is sold in paperback and is entitled "Between Parent and Teenager".  Some of the chapters on peer pressure, setting limits, alcohol and drug abuse and their consequences.  It is written for both parents and teen-agers to read, and I would recommend it to both you and your daughter.  It is difficult being a teen-ager, but it is almost as difficult being the parent of one.

Good Luck,

Dr. Eugenia Andrews