Teens and Peer Pressure
Teenagers have to deal with many new challenges as they are given more freedom and responsibly. One of these challenges is dealing with peer pressure. Peer pressure is defined as the influence exerted by a peer group, encouraging individuals to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors in order to conform to group norms. Peer pressure will happen at some point, parents should talk with their children to give them options for avoiding negative influences; teenagers can invent their own reasons to prevent choices they would regret. Most people think of peer pressure as negatively affecting people however it can also pertain to positive effects. Parents should guide their children as best as they can towards people that will influence their children in positive ways.
Spending time with friends is important to many teens and they learn from each other whether they are aware of it or not. Peer pressure will happen so parents need to talk to their adolescents and inform them of options that can help them in those instances. Adults can come up with codes with their children that can help them escape negative influences. One example would be for the child to call complaining of a specific made up illness if they were being pressured to try drugs or break the law in other ways.
Youths should learn to follow their moral compasses anytime they feel uncomfortable. If they are feeling negative peer pressure they should learn to say no or remove themselves from the situation. There are many excuses one can use to “save face” in front of peers. They could blame their parents or make up an explanation as to why they wouldn’t be able to take part in something that they don’t want to participate in.
Young people can pressure each other into positive things that will improve each other’s health, grades or mental states. This is the positive form of peer pressure. Parents should look companions for their children that reinforce good influences. Many youths are sensitive about their friendships and may resist interference from parents about who they spend time with. One way a parent can combat this is to simply make opportunities for their teens to spend time with positive influences and hope that the teen continues the trend on their own.
Guiding children to deal with peer pressure correctly will help them now and later in life as peer pressure doesn’t end with adolescents. Parents should first talk to their child and may give examples of situations they were involved in to inform them of options they have or try to help their children come up with ways to get out of bad situations. A majority of instances will be in the teen’s control in which they will need to deal with it themselves so parents should try to give their child options for being involved with good influences.