Peer pressure is one of those terms that make parents shudder. It also happens to be one of the most difficult subjects to broach with teenagers. You want to make sure they have the confidence to stand-up for themselves, the judgement to differentiate between fun and danger, the self-discipline to say no, the common sense to stay safe, and the trust to tell you when they need help—and all without scaring them, accusing them or sheltering them. That's a tall order for any parent.
But, while parents see peer pressure as an ominous cloud hanging over their children, teens may perceive the dangers, and the solutions, quite differently. What's the best way to get a teen's perspective on the issue? Ask them! In this series, we feature the voices of four high school students with a finger on the pulse of their school community, and a love of sharing their thoughts through writing. Often, the best parenting happens by listening.