“The young always have the same problem – how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.” How true?
As a parent, your biggest enemy by far is negative peer pressure. Notice the word “negative.” There is such a thing as positive peer pressure – when good friends talk your child out of doing something stupid. But, negative peer pressure can destroy everything you’ve worked so hard for.
A child’s growing up fall into stages of baby, toddler, teenager and adult. Each stage comes with its own challenges for us as parents. This is the reason we have to prepare our minds and equip ourselves before hand so that when we approach each stage, we would be able to understand how to navigate around it.
As our son or daughter begin to approach teen stage, we should be aware of the possibility of them experiencing what is called peer pressure. Teens often have a strong desire to be independent therefore, it is so easy for them to give in to peer pressure because they wants to fit in and be liked. Peer pressure is an expected experience for almost every teenager.
Merriam Webster defines peer pressure as – a feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age and social group in order to be liked or respected by them. The desire of wanting to feel and be part of something can put pressure on them to act in certain ways.
Regularly, our teens get pressure from their friends to do somethings they normally wouldn’t do which can leave them feeling guilty, regretful, ashamed, embarrassed or even frightened latter on. For instance; you’re invited to a party where you know there will be alcohol or drugs. A friend decides to cut class. Someone offers you a cigarette. Or friends talk about having a relationship or having sex etc.
We parents most time don’t understand the influences surrounding our children. When they fall short of our expectation, we tend to criticize, blame them, get furious and let them know how disappointed we are. We should not forget we also have roles to play in preparing them ahead by providing a solid foundation for them to grow, learn, and express themselves.
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