One day, your daughter comes home, and all she talks about is a party being hosted by a kid in her school and how every cool person in the school is sure to attend. She insists that she has to attend this party and tells you she wouldn’t forgive you if you don’t let her. Seeing as you were a child once who already knows what goes on in those kinds of parties, you also insist that she won’t be attending this party. She sulks and complains of how you are mean and how you don’t want her to make any friends.
At one point in your teen’s life, they will want to do something or act in a certain way because their friends are doing those same things. With the advent of social media and the ease at which chat with strangers occur, your teen is not only being pressurized by friends at school but also by faceless strangers whom you know nothing about.
PEER PRESSURE AND HOW IT INFLUENCES YOUR TEEN
Peer pressure is that feeling your teen has of wanting to do something because their friends or people in their social group tend to be doing it. This feeling stems from the need to want to be liked or respected by their peers and people in their social group. Every teenager goes through this stage at some point in their development.
Peer pressure is not necessarily a bad thing. In some ways, it is expected that teenagers will get influenced by some of their friends. This is because as the years go by, teenagers will begin to carry out activities that will take them away from home and most of this time will be spent with friends. With this constant time being spent with their friends comes the desire to fit in and be liked by their friends.
Peer pressure can be good or bad. Teenagers may become assertive, competitive or want to try new activities just by being with their friends. Some teenagers can also be forced into doing things they wouldn’t normally do like smoking, drinking or taking part in activities that are negative just to fit in with the crowd.
Peer pressure might result in teenagers wanting to dress alike or do the same hairstyles. It might also result in the same taste in music because that seems to be the cool music making the rounds in their social group.
It might also lead them into exhibiting anti societal behaviors like breaking rules, stealing, truancy, and becoming unserious in school. For this reason, many families have decided to help their teens get through these growing pains and life experiences that come with moving into adulthood by looking into getting professional help, even if it’s free; more about that here: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/get-free-online-therapy-should-you-use-free-counseling/.
The effects of peer pressure are felt intensely among close friends. This stems from the fact that close friends care about each other and also because most teenagers value the opinions of their close friends. Teenagers are more likely to succumb to pressure from their close friends because it feels more personal than when that same pressure is coming from a large group. For instance, a teenage girl’s best friend joins a new crowd and becomes a party animal. That teenage girl might have difficulty saying no when her best friend invites her to these parties even when she knows these parties might end up not being in her best interest. She would choose to attend because she doesn’t want to lose her friend totally or cause her friend’s opinion about her to change.
In the same vein, teenagers can also set positive examples for each other. Teenagers are drawn to other teens that share the same interests or have similar hobbies. A shy teenager who finds himself among friends who can speak up for themselves will in time learn the act of speaking out and overcome shyness.
When making individual choices, friends of your teenager can also help. Peer groups are for listening to each other and to give advice when necessary. According to teenshealth.com, a teenager’s peer group is more likely to speak up about something they consider risky or a huge mistake.
Though you are sometimes prone to worrying about the influence of peer groups on your teen, remember that peer pressure doesn’t always lead to negative behavior and can sometimes be healthy for your child.