Your child is invited to a birthday party to which someone has brought cigarettes. Their friends are very impressed and try cigarettes. One of their friends asks them, “Would you like to smoke too?”
How will your child answer ? Should you have prepared them in advance ? Are they able to say “NO” ?
The friendship environment is the most common negative factor for trying “forbidden things”, since each member of the group is under the supervision and control and evaluation of the other members and the child has to follow certain norms and rules of behaviour that correspond to the interests of the group. Friendly criticism takes on a particularly negative meaning for attitudes towards some kind of ‘bad’ behaviour. Because of a strong desire to be a member of the group, as well as a fear of derogatory behaviour and ridicule, the teenager decides to comply with all group norms.
Still someday, as much as we may not want to, our child will have to face the choice of saying “Yes” or “No.” The role of the parents is to prepare the child to refuse harmful suggestions without embarrassment or discomfort. They need to know what to do before the situation arises. Being prepared will help him to be bold and firm.