It is really scary how powerful teenage peer pressure can actually be. Think about when you were that age because you would definitely come across situations where you had been influenced in some way or another by certain things, but over the years it has just grown into something which you can't escape from.
It's easy enough for you to tell a 16 year old to walk away, but it's not always that easy and you have to put yourself in their shoes. It's not a case of just doing something because the rest of the crowd are doing it. There are a lot of emotions involved here. Kids can be really cruel and quite often you will be the last to hear about it.
Teens will want to fit into a group by acting in a certain way or looking the part. This is when you may start to notice a change. This is normal, but it can be extreme and it can go so far as to affect the self confidence and esteem, which is never a good thing. A lot of negativity results and they start to take every action from a negative point of view.
This can actually be the start of what is to escalate into adulthood so if you see it as a big problem then it really needs to be dealt with. It's usually kids with poor self-esteem or some sort of problem that feel they need to fit in and therefore are more likely to give into this. Taking a couple of risks and breaking rules or staying out later than they should with the opposite sex are some of the things that could go on. Alcohol and smoking could also be a problem. You may find their grades slipping at school.
How to Help with Peer Pressure in Teenagers
When you find that your teenager is suffering from pressure of this kind the last thing you want to do is to sit them down and give them a lecture. This is going to cause them to go out and buy a pack of cigarettes out of spite. Some kids have trouble saying "No" and you need to help them with this or someone else does because this could lead to big problems.
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- Help him or her to say No without making a big thing of it. Something like he doesn't like the smell will probably go down well.
- Keep the communication lines open and free so that your child knows that you are not going to give him a mouthful if he wants you to fetch him in the middle of the night from a party he opted out of.
- Helping by encouraging him or her to join up with a sporting club and other kinds of activities in your area. Encourage your teen to become friendly with friends outside of school and invite those kids around.
- Always be on the look out for self-confidence issues and if you sense this is very bad then think of sending him somewhere where it can be dealt with professionally. Problems with this usually start at this age, and if not dealt with, they can be a problem later in life. Anxiety is a massive problem in the country, but if it is attended to, then things will be a lot easier.
- Communicate in the appropriate manner and make a compromise or two. Don't say something like, "You'll never see those kids again", or "stop behaving like that", but tell your teen what you don't like about the behavior and realize that wearing their hair in a certain way along with clothes that you don't always approve of is just something that is going to happen.
When Peer Pressure with Teenagers Becomes an Issue
There is always going to be pressure on teenagers. This is just a part of life. Most teenagers live with it. All teenagers are different. Some have their own value and will not conform to anything else. Others will try to fit in in some small way and others will go overboard.
There are a couple of signs that you have to watch for where a small thing can develop into a big problem.
- Signs of aggression and antisocial behavior.
- No interest in going to school.
- Appetite decreases to the bear minimum, and there are also chronic sleep problems.
- Most of the time there is a sombre feeling about the teen, with some depression and at times there is a change of behavior in an instant. Mood swings are common with teenagers, but they are very typical with those that are stuggling with peer pressure.
- Things that were once enjoyed on a daily basis are no longer exciting
Other Related Articles:
Social Anxiety: Many adults have grown up with this, and have just had to deal with it, but if the self confidence issue and anxiety is dealt with when you are a teen, then there will be less complications in life.
Cyber Bullying: Bullying has become worse over the years. It may have started out as a joke, but it certainly is not that way for the victim. Educate yourself about this, so that you know what the warning signs are.
Teenage Driving Crashes: This article will give you some of the statistics which are picked up as a result of peer pressure and teens driving fast cars. This is why one needs to take this seriously, and not simply think of it as another passing stage.
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