Peer pressure is a constant force throughout life. However, it can have its most negative effects on children and adolescents because they do not have the life experience to stand up to people they view as their friends. They also have an intense desire to be part of a larger social group. Your family can learn to help your child stand up to peer pressure by providing a stable unit that your child knows they will always be a member of.
What the Child Faces
Children and teens primarily receive peer pressure through their friends. Most children suffer from a lack of self esteem and therefore the longing to be accepted in their social group can drive an adolescent to make decisions that they wouldn’t normally make. Adolescents seen as “popular” are surprising prone to peer pressure because they are used to conforming to social expectations. This can lead to mild or moderate deviant behaviors such as drug use and alcohol consumption. While social acceptance does lead to more protective factors than risk factors, the peer pressure can be remarkable to fit in with the right crowd. The most important thing is to teach your child how to stand up to peer pressure when their instincts are telling them that something isn’t right.
What the Parent Faces
When a parent feels like their child is falling in with the wrong crowd, it is normal for them to overreact. If a teenager wants to pierce their nose, this is not a sign that they are doing drugs or otherwise compromising themselves due to peer pressure. They could merely be trying to find out if piercing their nose is the best way to express themselves, which is a natural part of growing up and not an external force. The most important thing to help your child stand up to peer pressure is communication and encouragement. By talking to your child, you give them a social unit that is outside of their school and friends. Encouragement also lets them know that you support them in their decisions, which gives them more confidence to stand up to peer pressure.
We Can Help
Here at GoMentor.com, we know what trials you and your child face. Here you can find therapists who are trained to deal with children and adults in order to help provide your family with the tools needed to help your child deal with peer pressure. We know what trials your family faces, and the numerous services you can get on GoMentor.com can help you and your child fight low self esteem and encourage self expression.
Definition of Peer Pressure
Peer pressure is influence that comes from a peer group that encourages an individual to change their values, attitudes, or behavior in order to conform to the group’s standards.
Symptoms of / Reasons for Peer Pressure
- Increased irritability
- Reckless behavior that seems out of character
- Substance abuse
- Sudden change in attitude, behavior, or beliefs