Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m back today talking about another teen issue that is at the cornerstone of many problems teens face today. I’m talking about peer pressure.
Peer pressure is the influence exerted by a peer group or an individual, encouraging other individuals to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors in order to conform to group norms. (Thanks Wikipedia :)).
Peer pressure is a fact of life for teens. There’s no way to escape it or avoid it. I worry about this as my kids grow and become more and more social. I don’t want them to fall in with the wrong crowd and get involved with drugs or any other form of criminal activity. So, how do I avoid this?
First of all let’s look at some of the personality characteristics of teens who are at a higher risk of being influenced by peer pressure. I got this from this website http://www.morelove.in/index.php?id=47
1) Low self esteem
2) Lack of confidence
3) Uncertainty about ones place within a given peer group
4) No personal interests exclusive of one’s peer group
5) Feeling isolated from peers and/or family
6) Lack of direction in life
8) Eating disorders
9) Poor academic abilities or performance
10) Fear of one’s peers
11) Lack of strong ties to friends, feeling that friends could turn on you easily or with little reason
12) Close bond with a bully
So how do we as parents keep our kids out of the peer pressure trap?
That is a very good question and I’ve come up with some answers. (wink) You knew I would, didn’t you?
First and foremost, we have to encourage our children’s individuality. Celebrate it! I’m always telling my kids that everyone is different and likes different things. So, if they don’t like football, that’s okay even if their friends do. We can still be friends and like different things.
When they come home from school, they’re always telling me what one of their friend’s did, or didn’t do, or who got into trouble. I always take this opportunity to explain different personalities and how I expect them to behave. They’re first and second graders right now so they’re still at the stage where they want to please their parents. This is a good time to have these conversations and develop a rapport with your kids because you want them to continue talking with you well into their teen years. Start the habit now.
I feel if we celebrate our child’s individuality that he/she will grow up with the confidence that they need in those situations when peers are encouraging a bad choice. For example, I’ve explained that smoking is very bad because it’s bad for your body. I’ve told them that it’s bad for your lungs and your heart. It can lead to heart attacks. So, I’m confident that when a peer tries to pressure them into smoking, they’ll have the wherewithal to stand up for themselves and say, “No way! Are you crazy, smoking causes heart attacks.”
Another way to combat the peer pressure trap is to keep our kids involved in positive situations. For example, sports and extracurricular activities, these types of programs keep kids working together toward a common goal. But what about those kids who are loners and don’t like either one of those choices?
Well, that’s a very good question and I’ve got some answers. Maybe they’d be interested in Volunteering. Here’s an organization run by teens that encourages teens to Volunteer. Here’s their website http://www.volunteennation.org/
Or another solution may be to have them get an after school job, anything that moves them in a positive direction.
There you have it. Some ways to combat peer pressure. Here are some other websites that offer some sound advice for parents and teens.
More Love in http://www.morelove.in/index.php?id=47
Thanks for stopping by today and if you’ve got some ideas that you’d like to share feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.
***I would like to thank MoreLove in and Wikipedia for some of the information provided in this post.