Important Facts on Peer Pressure

Parents need to learn the facts on peer pressure before their kids reach the teen years. Parents are going to be the first line of defense when kids begin to experience the need to fit in, and the inevitable tension between acceptance and doing what's right and acceptance.

Peer pressure research shows that parents remain the number-one influencers on their teens. Even if you think your teen rejects everything you say, you are being observed more than you might realize, and your words matter. T

What It Is
Peer pressure occurs when a group of teens exert influence to manipulate each other into going along with the group's beliefs or behavior. Positive peer pressure can be found when atheletes help each other with schoolwork or convince each other to stay away from drugs so that nobody gets kicked off the team.

Much peer pressure involves pushing kids to experiment, however. The pressure of fitting in can override a child's values, leading a teen to do something he would not have done otherwise, as the child seeks the approval of the group. 

Negative Peer Pressure Facts

  • Peer pressure affects adolescents, teens and some adults.
  • Peer pressure can cause a lack of self-esteem when a person does something that conflicts with personal values.
  • Repeatedly giving in to the group can damage a teen's sense of self and cause emotional damage. It also reduces a teen's belief in her ability to make good choices.
  • Peer pressure can lead to early drug use, smoking, sexual behavior and alcohol abuse.
  • Parents, not peers, have the strongest influence over most teens.

What to Do

  • Have open communication. The more your child talks to you, the more influence you have. Get to know your teen's friends and be there when she comes home at night with questions about where she's been.
  • Establish firm expectations and boundaries. Teens need to know the rules; this helps them make good choices. The firmer you stand by the rules, the more your child will be able to assert himself when the pressure's on.
  • Role play. Help your teen find the words to say and get practice using them before he has to do this in real life.
  • Observe. Know your child. Watch for signs of withdrawal, depression, low self esteem or lying. 
Related Life123 Articles
Teenage peer pressure can be highly influential with the constant process of making choices and weighing what they have been told by parents, peers, the media, teachers and other sources of information. Any one of these influences can be attractive to a teen.

Peers are a powerful force in the life of a teenager. Whether they know it or not, teens face peer pressure almost constantly.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ask.com
More Related Life123 Articles
You don't have to tell your teen to avoid all peer pressure, but you should realize that avoiding the negative effects of peer pressure takes some skill training and strong parental guidance.

What is peer pressure? Any time a teen feels a conflict between what parents and friends expect, peer pressure is the cause.

Negative peer pressure can lead to long-term emotional and physical problems. Understanding how peer pressure works can help parents and teens find ways to deal with it.

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