Teens and group decisions

Stephen Gray Wallace, MS Ed School Psychologist & Author shares advice on how and why teens make poor decisions when they are in groups
Advice For Parenting Teens | How And Why Teens Make Poor Decisions In Groups | Kids in the House
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Teens and group decisions

Stephen Wallace: Writing my book about some very high profile displays of group behavior and things like drinking and sex at a public high school in Massachusetts, and a drinking debacle at a public school in New York. I think unfortunately, those high profile incidents are really just the tip of the iceberg. All through times, we fail to recognize young people’s important rites of passage like graduations or puberty or first dates or other important milestones in their lives. And the result of that is that they go out with their friends and they prove to us that they’re growing up by engaging in risk behavior. Look at me; look at what I’m doing. I’m doing things that adults normally do. I think we need to help young people by recognizing rites of passage. And we also need to help them understand what is appropriate and what is inappropriate group behavior. Lest group think take place. We need to teach them how to extricate themselves from situations that they know they shouldn’t be in. And from engaging in behaviors that they know they shouldn’t be engaging in. I think it’s important that we equip children with the skills that they need to step away from the group when the group is engaging in a behavior that they know is wrong. We need to reinforce our family values and help children know where the boundaries are, where they would be crossing the line. And give them the confidence and even the escape mechanisms to choose to do otherwise. For example, I talked to one family who had a code where their child, their son was in a situation he knew he shouldn’t be in. He would say, hey, wait a minute and I’m supposed to call my parents to find out how my grandma is coz she’s in the hospital today and had surgery. And he would call up on his cellphone and say how is grandma doing. And that is their cue to pick them up around the corner. So he could hang up, save face and say he had to go home to see his grandmother.
TEEN, Social Life, Peer Pressure

Stephen Gray Wallace, MS Ed School Psychologist & Author shares advice on how and why teens make poor decisions when they are in groups


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Stephen Gray Wallace, MS Ed

School Psychologist & Author

Stephen Gray Wallace, M.S. Ed., is president and director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE), a national collaborative of institutions and organizations committed to increasing favorable youth outcomes and reducing risk. He is a consultant to summer camps on staff training and teen leadership programming and has broad experience as a school psychologist and adolescent/family counselor. Stephen is a member of the professional development faculty at the American Academy of Family Physicians and American Camp Association and a parenting expert at kidsinthehouse.com, NBC News Learn and WebMD. He is also an expert partner at RANE (Risk Assistance Network & Exchange) and was national chairman and chief executive officer at SADD for more than 15 years. Additional information about Stephen’s work can be found at StephenGrayWallace.com.

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