What is peer pressure? Parents and adolescents need to to answer this question so that kids won't succumb to negative peer pressure when it happens, which it will.
Peer Pressure Defined
The definition of peer pressure is a group of people exerting influence to manipulate others into following certain behaviors or beliefs. The group may punish people for non-compliance, making life difficult for the peer who resists.
Peer pressure for teens is especially harsh, as teens often want power over others and may find cruel ways to get back at people who don't follow their rules. Teens face a struggle between parental and personal boundaries and peer expectations, along with the age-appropriate desire for peer acceptance. In this struggle, parents usually have the upper hand. That's why it's essential for parents to give teens the confidence needed to resist peer pressure.
How to Help Teens Avoid Peer Pressure
Parents can do three main things to help their child stand up to negative peer pressure:
Teen groups often form as cliques, exclusive groups that conform to chosen ideals and behaviors, and that exclude others. The leaders of these cliques are important influences on the behavior of the group.
As a parent, get to know your child's friends and see what kind of influence these friends have on your child. It helps to know the other parents, too, if possible. Encourage your child to befriend people with similar values and interests, and to avoid those who would put him into difficult situations.
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.
Parenting is a tough job. Let's face it, you can't watch your kids every hour of every day and you also can't control everything they see and hear. As a kid, I was exposed to many things that a child should not have been exposed to.