The reasons and the ways to handle it.
Peer pressure is most dominant during the teen years, but the seed are sown at a very early age. It is natural that the parents want their children to be best and at the same time work hard to provide them with all the best possible things. It is a notion that comparing the child with the siblings and the classmate is a regular practice just to upgrade them. Parents and teachers being unaware of the after effects of this practice which sow the seed of peer pressure in the children at a very tender age.
Teens spend most of their time living under the rules of their parents, which sometimes clashes with their need to develop a personal identity and traits different from their family members.
In this competitive world the parents wants their children to be better than others so most of the time verbally or non- verbally the message given to child is comparison. There is nothing wrong in having a desire that the child should be better than others but the process adopted sometimes is damaging. The parents and the teachers unknowingly compare the children with friends and sibling and use their time and energy in a wrong place and that too out of proportion. Sometimes they are given negative reinforcement –you can’t do this or you won’t be able to do this with a thought that they would pick the challenge, is not the correct way. The need is to trace the strength and weakness of the child, help them to work on the weakness overcome them and nurture the strength. This process can make them better.
It cannot be denied that teens feel a strong need to conform to peer expectations. The teenage is a time of confusion and uncertainty, marked by rising peer expectations raging hormones and a desire of independence. Parents also play their part, child tend to think that the ways their friend act is much cooler or more impressive as their parents frequently compare them to their friends. Teens spend most of their time living under the rules of their parents, which sometimes clashes with their need to develop a personal identity and traits different from their family members. Teens join peer group in an attempt to differentiate themselves from their family and grow more independent. For teens, it becomes easier to relate to friends than to family unless the family has friendly relation with the child.
Negative peer pressure—Loneliness and desire for acceptance often drives students to give in to negative peer pressure. Teens that are more likely to succumb to pressure often feel isolated from peers, lack direction in their lives, are uncertain about their place in the peer group and have a low self esteem. The need to fit in the group undermines their own convictions and they follow the crowd in dangerous ways by participating in acts like smoking, vandalism, drinking, sex, cheating and sneaking out at night. Teens who give into negative peer pressure frequently lack support from their family members which causes them to seek acceptance in other places. An open and trusting family relationship arms the teens with information about negative choices like smoking and drugs use and the teen is more likely to make good decisions when confronted with negative peer pressure.
Positive peer pressure—In fact peer pressure is one of the most effective ways for teen to practice good behaviour and make smart choices in her or his life. Positive peer pressure includes situations where friends push teens to grow in beneficial ways. Parents and teachers should encourage teens to explore their independence with friends who make good decisions, promoting the kind of positive peer influence and at the same time being a friend and guide to their children.
The need is to stay connected to family, get connected to the positive peers, nurture your strength, and overcome your weakness and then…. SKY IS THE LIMIT!!!