Want to equip your child with the best way to respond to negative peer pressure? Share these tips from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and practice using them together.
Even when your child is confident in his/her decision not to use drugs or alcohol, it can be hard when it’s a friend who is offering.
A lot of times, a simple “no thanks” may be enough. But sometimes it’s not. It can get intense, especially if the people who want your child to join in on a bad idea feel judged. If everyone is being “stupid” together, then they feel less self-conscious and don’t need to take all the responsibility.
But knowing they are just trying to save face doesn’t end the pressure, so here are a few tips that may come in handy.
1. Have your child offer to be the designated driver. Get their friends home safely, and everyone will be glad your child didn’t drink or take drugs.
2. If on a sports team, ask your child to say he/she is staying healthy to maximize his/her athletic performance—besides, no one would argue that a hangover would help someone play their best.
3. “I have to [study for a big test / go to a concert / visit my grandmother / babysit / march in a parade, etc.]. I can’t do that after a night of drinking/drugs.”
4. Have your child keep a bottled drink like a soda or iced tea with you to drink at parties. People will be less likely to pressure him/her to drink alcohol if he/she is already drinking something. If they still offer something, have your child just say “I’m covered.”
5. Have your child find something to do so he/she stays busy. Get up and dance. Offer to DJ.
6. When all else fails…have your child blame his/her parents. You certainly won’t mind! Ask your child to explain that his/her parents are really strict, or that they will check up on him/her upon arriving at home.
If your child's friends aren’t having it—then it’s a good time to find the door. Nobody wants to leave the party or their friends, but if your child's friends won’t let him/her party without drugs, then it’s not going to be fun for him/her.
Sometimes these situations totally surprise us. But sometimes our children can anticipate when alcohol or drugs will be used, such as at a concert. These are the times when your child should consider alternative plans.