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Visualize Peer Pressure

Role-playing and visualization can help kids imagine what they would do to get out of the pressure zone. "Often, kids find themselves in the moment, doing things they never thought they would do," says Wallace. Help your child practice warding off peer pressure by playing a game of "What if?"

  • What if you were at a party and someone had a bottle of pills?
  • What if you were about to get into a car and realized the driver was drunk?

The game can serve two purposes. First, it lets your child develop a peer-pressure game plan, which can include calling you. Second, it lets her know she can say no and blame it on you. "My mom would kill me," is a perfectly good way out of these situations.

Help Teens Learn From Their Missteps

No matter what you say or do, your child may still mess up. As upset as you may be, your child probably is, too. Fleissner says parents should be ready to help their children take responsibility for their mistakes, and support them in moving on. This is an important time to help a child look at how he makes decisions. Siegel agrees. "Parents should ask questions that encourage self-reflection," he says.

Parents can’t anticipate every social challenge their children will face. Kids who know their parents love them, who value their own opinions, and have practice thinking critically, have a greater chance of saying   "No thank you."

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