Teens face all kinds of peer pressure. They have people around them that try to get them to do dumb/risky stuff all the time (smoke, drink, drugs, eating a whole jar of mayonnaise) and, since they so desperately want to fit it, it can be hard for them to say “no.”
When my brother and I were teenagers, we (my brother more often than me) would have people ask us to come out and do things we weren’t really comfortable doing. Some of these things were life-threatening, while other things consisted of being asked to get into situations we didn’t have good feelings about.
The question, then, is: how do you say “no, I don’t want to do this” in an environment where you’ll probably get clowned or called a whole bunch of names for doing so?
Answer: TELL THEM YOUR PARENTS SAID YOU COULDN’T DO IT.
At first, it might sound a little lame, and you may feel as if your friends will go: “Aww, look at the little baby who’s Mommy and Daddy won’t let them out to play!” But the reality is, most teens already have the opinion that parents are “squares” (do people still use that word?).
Therefore, if you tell your friends that your parents are “prohibiting you from doing (insert name of moronic activity) with them,” they are more likely to understand your predicament and show their sympathy for you not being able to do an event you didn’t really want to do in the first place!
As an example: while in high school, there were a couple of house parties we got invited to. I like house parties, and I certainly didn’t mind going to them. What I DID mind, though, was going to parties where there would be alcohol, weed, and NO parents around.
Rather than sound like a geek and say, “But I can’t go – there won’t be supervision AND we’re not legally allowed to drink,” I’d just tell them: “Aww, man, I want to go SO bad, but my Mom’s being a JERK about the whole thing and won’t let me!” (Ironically, it was my MOM who came up with this brilliant plan in the first place. Because of it, I avoided doing a LOT of stupid stuff while being able to retain some level of coolness with my peers. Thanks, Ma!)
Ah, being able to use your parents as a reason for not doing stuff you (secretly) don’t wanna do… now THAT’S something to be thankful for!
-Aaron P. Taylor