How To Face Peer Pressure During Teenage Years?
Peer pressure is all about the influence friends or peers have on a teenager and how teenagers respond to it reflects the quality of the pressure from the peers. Basically, it all starts when somewhere in the mind of the teen there is a doubt about the self, an awareness of lacking something and an insecurity that sets in the mind due to what the teenagers see around them or when they feel they lack something. The teenager starts feeling the absence of either a materialistic factor or the capability factor and then starts looking for acceptance and assurance. When a peer provides both, the teenager begins to depend on the peer a lot more and that’s when the influence begins.
Firstly it should be noted that peer pressure can have a positive as well as a negative influence. It is the duty of the parents to identify the peers who are with their kids and find out the kind of influence their children are likely to be under. But by making the teenager understand the concept of peer pressure, enhance the self respect in the child and by engaging the child in activities that takes the child’s position among peers to an elevated level, peer pressure can be faced with ease and in a more relaxed manner.
Here are a few tips to help a teenager on how to face peer pressure:
· Firstly identify the pressure from peers as positive or negative. If it is positive then continue with the friendship but try to have your own viewpoint. Try to speak to your parents or teachers about the pressure from peers even if it is positive. Also feel proud that you are forced by peers to do something that will be beneficial to you. For example an obese child should come under peer pressure to look good and reduce weight in order to be healthy too. Having a positive outlook towards life is always a good thing especially if it encourages goodness around you.
· If you have identified the peer pressure as negative, it means you are not safe from problems. This is when you must and repeat must speak to your teachers or parents. If you have elder siblings start speaking to them about it. This will be a great way to open up with someone of a similar age group. Try to enhance your self worth and esteem in your own perspective so that none are able to make you feel weak or belittle you.
· Try to make an adult your friend and by an adult it means either of your parents, an instructor or a trainer, a teacher with whom you feel comfortable or any relative like an uncle, aunt or a cousin. Talk to them about how pressurized you feel in front of your peers due to some issue. For example, one of your peers is a good orator and has a good talent in speaking in public. It does not mean that you too who is quiet need to be endowed with similar capabilities. Compare to find out what you hidden talents are and may be you might have more talents than your peers. So never feel lacking just because a friend or a classmate has some talent and you don’t. Moreover, the pressure starts building when you allow your peers to recognize the lack of talent and they begin ridiculing you. Therefore it is not right for you to show any thing lacking in you. Try to always highlight your plus points in your character and abilities and not show what you don’t have nor weep over it.
By following these tips you can be confident of not falling under peer pressure and if there is any pressure it can be overcome with a little bit of self esteem and control over your thoughts.
( Educationist with more than 15 years expeience in India and Abroad. Presently He is serving the cause of education in Tanzania. You can send your responses to him at firstname.lastname@example.org)