As a parent, you love to see your child succeed and make something of his or her life. Graduating high school and moving on to college is a huge step toward developing greater independence. College can open up a variety of possibilities for your child. However, college is also known for late night parties and rampant substance abuse. If you’re concerned about your child making harmful choices, here are a few things you can do to prepare him or her to resist peer pressure in college.
Suggest Campus Involvement
College students who are involved in school sports teams or clubs are less likely to have time for excessive partying. Additionally, staying busy and involved in constructive activities helps students develop a healthy sense of responsibility and belonging. This can reduce the feeling of having to fit in with others through excessive partying and using illegal drugs.
Encourage Healthy Relationships
While it’s important for college students to focus primarily on studies, it is also important for them to have emotional and academic support from good friends. Rather than discouraging your child from spending time with friends, encourage him or her to make time for good friends and develop healthy relationships. Kindly advise your child to look for friends who have the following characteristics:
- Desire to do well in school
- Abstinence from alcohol or drug use
- No criminal record of vandalism, theft, etc.
The right group of friends can help relieve the stresses of college life without pressuring your child to stay up late partying, consuming harmful substances or being in dangerous situations.
Keeping an open line of communication with your child is essential to helping them resist peer pressure, especially if they are attending a college far away from home. Always be supportive of your child and don’t be suspicious of his or her behavior if there is no reason to be. If your child reveals that he or she has been engaging in harmful behaviors, avoid jumping to conclusions, being judgmental, or coming across too harsh. Instead, lovingly help him or her understand how such behaviors can affect academic success, emotional growth, brain development, and a professional future.
If possible, visit your child as often as you can to keep your relationship strong and ensure that he or she does not feel lonely or abandoned. The more loved and valued your child feels, the easier it will be for him or her to resist peer pressure in college.
If your child has given in to the peer pressures of college and is suffering emotionally or academically as a result, there are various ways for you to approach your addicted teen. In addition, some colleges offer on-site counseling services. These services are intended to help students who are struggling with a variety of challenges, including the abuse of alcohol or substances and any other psychological or emotional burdens the child may be dealing with.
It is important for your child to know there are ways to avoid submitting to peer pressure and that it is never too late to get help. For more assistance, please contact us. We would be happy to help you.