Helping Your Teen With Peer Pressure
We’ve compiled some information about peer pressure so you can support your teen through the adolescent years.
Being a teenager in this day and age is hard! Teens are bombarded with new experiences and information whilst navigating a time of change and uncertainty in who they are.
During these years, peer pressure can be a common issue for your teen. So, let's unpack this topic further to really understand what your teen is going through!
Teens are navigating a time of change and uncertainty in who they are.
#Peer pressure definition
Peer pressure refers to the influence people, within the same social group, have on an individual. Particularly, it refers to a person conforming to a particular behaviour for acceptance and validation. Interestingly, a social group does not just refer to friendship. Rather, it refers to people who have similarities to the individual such as age, abilities, and social status.
#Overcoming Peer Pressure
Positive peer pressure
Surprisingly, peer pressure does not have to be negative. Research shows that social groups can promote positive behaviours that encourage your young person to participate with the group or undertake the behaviour independently. Examples of positive peer pressure include: encouraging good study habits, saving money, volunteering for a cause, finding a job, disapproving gossip, and staying away from risk-taking behaviours. From undertaking these activities teens can feel supported and encouraged, have increased self esteem, and make better decisions.
Negative peer pressure
On the other hand, peer pressure can be negative and can result in your young person participating in risky behaviours to feel a sense of belonging. Behaviours such as criminal activities, underage alcohol use, skipping school, purchasing drugs or vapes, and participating in bullying are examples of negative peer pressure. Feelings of anxiety and depression, academic underachievement, self worth issues, and withdrawal from family can result from negative peer pressure.
Overcoming peer pressure
There are many strategies to help your teen combat negative peer pressure. Implementing strategies to help your teen plan ahead can be beneficial. For example, having a support person to call, teaching your teen the benefits of saying no, encouraging positive friendships with people who share the same values, and giving an excuse to leave a negative situation are great ways to combat peer pressure. Remember, sometimes your teen doesn’t always want to talk to their parents… and that’s okay. Encourage them to reach out to someone older who they trust and show them you trust their judgement.