Peer Pressure. What do you do?
So this week is the beginning of a new school year. It’s been an exciting time of year for you; filled with shopping for the first day’s outfit, school supplies and ingredients for school lunches. It’s a fresh start for most and a culmination of hard work for others.
But along with all of that excitement, there is also the chance that you will feel pressured from friends, social media or advertising to use drugs or to drink alcohol.
A simple suggestion like, “Come on we are skipping math class! Let’s go hang out and get something to eat.” Can change the course and direction of your life!
This might sound like a good idea, but in your head, you know it’s not the right thing to do. Do you do what you know is right, and go to math class or do you hang out with the cool kids? That’s peer pressure.
As you and I grow older we will be faced with so many challenging decisions, including some that will have some consequences. Sometimes the right answer won’t always be clear and it’s up to us to learn how to make the right choices.
We’re always surrounded by people that will try to influence us… try to influence our decision making… and it doesn’t matter what age we are. Sometimes these influences will be positive, like when a friend teaches you how to solve a math equation. Other times people can negatively influence you. For example, they might pressure you to have a drink of alcohol or smoke a joint.
So what’s the best way to handle peer pressure?
Some kids will give into peer pressure as a way to fit in and be accepted by a certain crowd. Many of them, are worried that they’ll be judged or made fun of if they don’t go along with what they think, “Everyone else is doing.“
It can be Super difficult to say no to peer pressure. But you can do it!
- Start paying attention to how you are feeling and the beliefs about what is right and what is wrong.
- Inner strength and confidence can help you stand firm and resist doing something when you know better.
- Sometimes all it takes is having a friend standby with you, who’s willing to stand up for you to help you resist the temptation.
- Choose someone with the same values as you to help back you up when you don’t want to do something.
The best advice that I think anyone can give is this…Choose your friends wisely.
You may have heard this many times from your parents and teachers but these words are said for a reason. Peer pressure is a big reason why they say it. Friends that do drugs, drink alcohol, cut class or bully are more likely to influence you in the wrong way. You pick your friends usually because you share the same interests, but also make sure you both have the same values.
If you are still having a difficult time handling peer pressure, talk to someone you can trust. A parent, teacher, or counselor can make you feel better about saying no and prepare you for the next time you’re faced with a difficult decision.
Positive Peer Pressure
Peer pressure doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. For example, peer pressure can influence bullies into acting better towards others. If enough kids band together, peers can pressure each other to do what’s right.
But most importantly, just be you! Be the best you that you can be and make smart choices.
Please share your thoughts and comments. Thanks for stopping by…Luke