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Dares: How to Respond

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Daring or accepting dare triggers basic drive to get approval, especially from peers and the opposite sex. The person who is being dared usually accepts the dare to avoid being called a coward and wanting their friend to look up to them.

In reality, no dare is safe and there is always a risk involved. It may seem innocent initially but dares can quickly escalate. The name dare byself implies a level of danger and consequence.

Teenagers are easily influenced by dares in YouTube videos and social media. These videos appear fun and despite being dangerous, the teens do not think they can get hurt. These videos usually go viral. Teens want to do what everyone else is doing, to conform with their peers.

However, the problem is teens may get hurt and sometimes die from performing these dangerous dares. Some of the examples of dangerous dares are: cinnamon challenge, or fire challenge.

http://nocinnamonchallenge.com

Tip for teens

  • If it does not seem like a good idea, do not do it. Get out of the situation. A dare or challenge may seem all in good fun, but the consequences could last a lifetime.

  • If you are not sure whether a dare is safe, talk to your parents or teachers.

  • If you are not comfortable doing it, don’t ! Good friends don’t force their friends to do things they are not comfortable doing.

  • If your friend is accepting a dare that doesn’t seeem safe, discourage and advise them against it. Support your friend make a good decision.

Tips for parents

Parents can understand their teen better if they know what is going on inside their teenager mind and why they make what seems like stupid decisions eg accepting dangerous dares.

  • Parents must not assume their teen will not accept a dare. Peer pressure can win anytime.

  • Parents who are concerned about their teens’ thrill seeking behaviour should try to channel that energy into some other  healthy acitivity, like sports.

  • Keep the channels of communication open so that your teen can talk to you  whenever they are confused. Talk to your teen, ask them ‘what do you think can happen if you try this?’ Talk to them about their actions, consequences and risk. Make sure your teenager know that they can text or call you anytime if they are not sure about anything.

  • Watch some videos of dares with your teen. Laugh together and talk about the dangers involved.

  • Talk and practice with your teens about saying ‘no’ and standing up for themselves. Build up their confidence. Empower them.

  • Set limits and boundaries. Make sure your teen know what is acceptable and what is not.

  • Keep your cool if you suspect that your teen is accepting dangerous dares Do not be punitive. Talk rather than confronting them.

References

  1. http://changingminds.org/principles/daring.htm

  2. http://pulse.seattlechildrens.org

  3. http://triumphyouthservices.com

  4. http://www.collegenet.com

  5. http://www.crchealth.com

Last Reviewed : 25 November 2014
Writer : Dr. Norharlina bte. Bahar
Accreditor : Dr. Hargeet Kaur A/P Basant Singh