Parents are always celebrating the milestones in their children’s lives. The first smile, the first step, the first word are all those important milestones that we cherish as parents.
Then along comes the milestone of starting school, probably one of the most difficult changes in a child’s life for a parent to deal with during childhood. Once your children start school we begin to lose them to the influence of other students, teachers, and the world.
By the time your little darlings have become teenagers they are almost entirely influenced by their peers. But parents who remain active and engaged with their teenager on an ongoing basis can overcome the powerful influence of peer pressure. If you lose your influence to the wrong group of peers, your child can be in serious danger of harming themselves or others.
According to Survelum Public Data Bank, “Peer Pressure Survey Statistics,” only 10 percent of teenagers surveyed about peer pressure say they have never been influenced by peer pressure. The study goes on to say: “Twenty-eight percent of kids say that giving into peer pressure helps them move up the social ladder and most kids said that their peers influence them both positively and negatively.” This fact, makes it imperative that you get to know your kid’s friends.
Drugs and alcohol are some of the biggest concerns teenagers face when it comes to peer pressure. Students said even though their parents taught them right from wrong when it comes to drinking and doing drugs, the peer pressure was greater than they could handle. A Canadian Lung Cancer study showed that teenagers started smoking, drinking, and drugs because their friends did it or it made them look cool. 70 percent of teen smokers said they started smoking because a friend smoked.
According to the Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that a staggering 33 percent had at least one drink by the age of 15 and 7.7 million young people ages 12–20 reported that they drank alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month.
Youth Minister Burt Fulks came up with a plan for his kids called the “X-Plan.” The X-Plan is simple in concept. After working with teens struggling with alcoholism and drug abuse, he learned that sometime kids just wished they had a way out besides saying no to their friends. They fear ridicule or worse… losing their friends, so they give in to peer pressure. Fulks devised a plan with is son Danny. If Fulks received a text from his son simply with an “X”, that meant his son was in an uncomfortable situation and needed help. When Fulks would receive a message from his son he would wait a minute then place a call to his son’s phone and say there was an emergency at home and he was on his way to get him. There is a catch; the agreement includes a no questions asked policy. Fulks would simply pick up his son and bring him home. The plan allowed his son to get out of a peer pressure situation and get home safely.
Another great tactic is random drug testing your teenager. While you never may have to even do a drug test on your child, they know there is the possibility and when a friends asks them to try drugs that they can say “I can’t my parents random drug test me.” We had a client here at Missouri Onsite Testing that had a teenage daughter that was hanging out with a bad crowd of peers. She started to get a reputation by association. The father confronted his daughter about drug use and she denied it. Never wanting to be the parent who said ‘My child would never do that,” he brought her in for a drug test. She was angry at us and her father. She swore she was clean. After we collected a hair sample and sent it off to the lab, she tested negative on a 5 panel hair follicle drug test. The test showed that she was clean of amphetamines/methamphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine. Although she was mad about us cutting a hair sample she later admitted it helped her with peer pressure by saying “I can’t my dad drug tests me.” Our client and Fulks’ son Danny both were relieved to have an excuse to avoid peer pressure without being embarrassed or ridiculed.
You can read Burt Faulk’s X-Plan at the following link https://bertfulks.com/2017/02/23/x-plan-giving-your-kids-a-way-out-xplan/.
Missouri OnSite Testing offers quick, accurate, confidential drug testing at their office located at 2032 E. Kearney Springfield, Missouri. We are open Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm and Saturdays by appointment. We also offer paternity testing and sobriety testing. For more information call 417-831-6678.