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Talking to Your Teen About Peer Pressure

Tips on talking to your teen about peer pressure. The best way to do it to create open ended conversations in a non confrontational manner.


I know you don’t want to do it but you really need to be talking to your teen about peer pressure. They ARE encountering it, probably on a daily basis. If you’ve tried sitting them down one on one without distractions and trying to get them to be honest with you about what they’re being faced with, you may not get much information. Here are a few ways to get your teen to talk to you more openly. Special thanks goes out to stop medicine abuse for sponsoring this post.

Talking to your teen about peer pressure

I think I do have a pretty open relationship with my teenager daughter. She’s much more open with me than I ever was with my own parents.  I call that a win in my book.

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Of course no relationship is perfect. Talking to your teen is important, but finding the right time and place to bring up sensitive subjects is sometimes hard.

  • Subjects like bullying, female topics, cyber safety, and peer pressure are not always easy to discuss.

I’ve read many articles regarding the pressures teens face nowadays. We all hope school would be their safe ground, but studies show 1 in 30 teens or approx. 1 child in every high school class has abused over-the-counter cough medicine for example to get high. Ok, that is scary as a parent.


I actually never thought of OTC medicines being used by teens to get high but using DXM found in cough and cold medicines is the reality and the side effects when abused are quite concerning.

So how can we as parents approach this topic with our teenagers? Here are a few tips on broaching the subject and getting them to open up a bit more.

Talk to them when:

  • you’re preparing dinner
  • you’re doing a household chore together (laundry, gardening)
  • you’re driving (long road trips have been the more effective for us)
  • you’re walking the dog
  • you’re shopping
  • you’re eating a meal together
  • they’re on their phone/internet
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Questions to ask to develop an open ended conversation:

  • The best part of your day today was???
  • Tell me about the challenge(s) you faced today?
  • What part of your day would you have liked to change? Why?
  • How would you like tomorrow to start? End?
  • How can I help you have a better day tomorrow?

If you haven’t had much luck getting your teen to open up and discuss struggles they have, try one of the approaches above. It is important to know issues going on in their lives, especially those that could risk their health and/or life.

To be proactive you can also check yourself in your medicine cabinets to ensure that none of the readily accessible cough and/or cold medicines do not contain DXM (on the drug facts label). It looks similar to the one below and directs you to site with lots more info. and resources as well.

talking to your teen about peer pressure

Along with open conversations it is important to be as on top of things as we can to keep our teens safe. Peer pressure is pretty intense nowadays. Not that “in my day” we didn’t also deal with the pressure to fit in but I think we can all agree that in 2016 with all the information they’re able to access right at their fingertips, and availability of OTC medications it adds a bit more pressure and possible dangers.

Do you have a great tip for talking to your teen about peer pressure?

I was compensated by the Stop Medicine Abuse campaign to write about National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, but all my opinions are 100% my own.

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