Children often feel insecure about themselves and their social acceptability. Consequently, they are extremely vulnerable to pressure from their peers to fit in. Students who develop high self-esteem and healthy values are less likely to give in to peer pressure to drink or use other drugs. In order to build your children’s self-esteem, it is important to develop a relationship with them that is based on mutual respect.
- Make time for your child. Find an activity you enjoy doing together and pursue it.
- Be active with your child in school activities.
- Listen, really listen. Learn to draw your child out about things that are important to him/her, and listen with your full attention.
- Talk, really talk. Talk to your child about applying the catholic values and virtues of honesty, responsibility, temperance, modesty, integrity as they relate to the media, abstinence, tobacco, drugs and alcohol, personal goals, and relationships.
- Share your faith and spirituality. Teach your teen to pray about issues.
- Encourage critical thinking. Your child will continue to make decisions about whether to smoke, drink, use other drugs or be sexually active.
- Teach refusal skills. Discuss lines and comebacks. Discuss or role play situations that challenge the child to act.
- Tolerate differences. Freely talk about topics where all people do not have the same opinion.
- Give teens responsibility for their own problems. Let your child experience the consequences of his/her own behavior, even if these consequences might be embarrassing or uncomfortable.
- Teach your children to accept and learn from their failures. Young people need to understand that the only failure is in not trying. Mistakes are not failures. Mistakes simply provide us with new information that can help us to succeed.
- Develop a parenting style based on mutual respect, while remaining the parent.