Teen Peer Pressure - Causes And Effects

Teen Cope With Peer Pressure

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Are you worried about the pressure your teen may face from his peers? Is there any change you have noticed in your teen’s personality and are worried that it may be due to peer pressure? If the thought of your teen succumbing to peer pressure and developing bad habits is giving you sleepless nights, it is time for you to check out his post!

Teenage is a stage when a child can relate to his friends more than his family members. That is why peer pressure becomes a major force for the parents to reckon with while handling their teen. Want to know the pros and cons of teenage peer pressure? Read on!

Teens And Peer Pressure:

According to a study at the University of Maryland, peer pressure often begins way early than the teenage years. So by the time your kid turns into an adolescent, he may have already been subjected to pressure from his peers, often without you knowing anything about it. Peer pressure could show up in your teen’s life early, but it will have its maximum impact when your kid enters the teenage years. [1]

[ Read: Internet Safety Tips For Teens ]

Why Does Your Teen Succumb To Peer Pressure?

Conforming to teen peer pressure is one of the easiest and fastest ways to gain popularity among other teens of the same age. Often, teens may give in to peer pressure, even though they may be fully aware of the consequences. Your teen may go ahead and do something he is not comfortable with, as a result of peer pressure.

Some of the main reasons that could make your teen succumb to peer pressure are as follows:

Your teen wants to fit in with the other teens in his school, group or neighborhood. He feels he is not like the other teens he meets, and wants to be like them to avoid facing rejection.

Sometimes, when your teen sees another person behaving in a different way, he may find it fascinating and even mysterious. It can open up a world of possibilities to your teen, just imagining the reasons behind actions he cannot explain. It could lead your teen to ape those actions or behavior.

Your teen may have faced bullying or ridicule on account of certain things he does or doesn’t do. Giving in to peer pressure can seem like the fastest way to avoid being singled out.

[ Read: Teenage Behavioural Problems ]

How Can Peer Pressure Affect Teens?

In almost all cases, peer pressure in teenagers has a negative impact. Here are a few ways it can cause damage to your teen’s personality:

Your teen may start experimenting with things like drinking and smoking, just to be part of the ‘cool crowd’. In worst cases, your teen may start experimenting with drugs.

When your teen knows he has done something you may not approve of, he will most likely start lying about it at home, often making up excuses.

Your teen is in an emotionally fragile phase and due to peer pressure he may start exploring more intimate relationships. In some cases, your teen could start experimenting with self-stimulation or even share physical intimacy with other teens.

In order to meet the demands of his new lifestyle that conforms to his peers are doing, he may start looking for other sources of money. Teens in this situation often get into the habit of shoplifting, cheating or stealing
Your teen could get into unsafe online practices or get addicted to social media platforms.

Does Peer Pressure Have Any Positive Impact?

Even though it is mostly thought to be a negative influence, peer pressure can at times affect your teen in a positive way too. Here are a few situations in which peer pressure among teenagers can work wonders for your teen:

Your teen may want to emulate the habits of the class topper and start performing better at school.
Your teen may form a special bond with someone who can be a positive role model. Your teen may be so comfortable with this person that he may share all his concerns and questions with his idol. It can be a good way for your teen to vent out his feelings.

Your teen may develop friendships that will last him a lifetime.

In an attempt to look more social, your teen may start interacting with more people. He may also start taking part in more outings and events that will help him come out of his shell and become more self-confident.

Peer pressure can make your teen more caring, concerned, loving and responsible. He may try doing things he otherwise would not do at all.

Peer pressure could also make your teen participate in activities like sports, music or anything else that helps to channelize his energy better.

[ Read: Tips To Communicate Better With Your Teen ]

How To Help Your Teen Cope With Peer Pressure?

All teens face peer pressure. Even though you may not be able to prevent it altogether, you can surely minimize the damage. Just make sure you are attentive and stay connected with your teen. The following tips can help too:

1. Tell your teen that it is okay to say ‘no.’ Your teen may be too polite or sensitive to refuse another person outright. Tell him that if he feels even the slightest discomfort doing something, it means he should not do it at all.

2. Tell your teen that you love him unconditionally and will always support him. Give him the confidence to come to you with any worries, without the fear of being judged.

3. Listen to your teen and be attentive. Your lack of interest could put off your teen from sharing his concerns with you in future.

4. Do not compare your teen with others. Doing this could make him feel he should change his ways and emulate others. It can become the first step towards succumbing to peer pressure. Tell your teen all the things he does make you proud.

5. Tell your teen to stay away from people he does not connect with or who make him uncomfortable. In case he feels threatened or bullied, tell him to speak to a school counselor, a teacher or a responsible adult who may be in the vicinity.

6. Your teen may often give in to peer pressure as a need to conform. If he does not feel loved or appreciated at home, he can often look for acceptance outside. Be there for your teen and help him say no to negative influences.

Did your teen face peer pressure? How did you spot it and how did you help him overcome it? Please share your experience and advice with other moms here.

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