Most of the changes and challenges in our children’s growth will occur during their teenage years. Not only will there be trials to family bonds and social friendships, but physical, mental and emotional changes are bound to happen.
One of the biggest factors affecting your child’s growth and behaviour is peer pressure. The effects of peer pressure will also depend on various factors such as their home environment and their nurtured behaviour.
So, why does peer pressure play a huge role in your teen’s life? We explore more in this article!
How Does Peer Pressure Affect Teenagers?
The reason peer pressure plays a huge role in a teenager’s life is because of the ‘pressure’ to prove something to people – they are independent, tough and are no longer kids.
While that is the big picture, the effects of peer pressure can turn out for the best or the worst.
The positive effects of peer pressure on teenagers can vary. Peer pressures can give them a sense of belonging, work as emotional and mental support from people other than their own family. Being in a peer group also helps boost a teen’s self-esteem and promotes social intelligence that promotes positive habits and behaviour.
While there are amazing benefits to the effects of peer pressure, negative results may also manifest through mental and social pressure to fit in, belong and please a peer member. There are cases where teenagers tend to favour peers over their own families, keep bad company and get influenced by negative behaviour and vices.
How To Help Your Teenager Manage Peer Pressure
The most influential person in your teenager’s life is you. Maybe, as a parent, but you can also be the best peer to your child by encouraging healthy peers and social relationships.
Stay connected to your teen
Talking about each other’s feelings is a great way of forging trust between you and your teenager. It won’t be easy to hear each other’s perspectives, but the important thing is to stay calm, listen and understand instead of reacting on impulse. The goal here is to form trust and faith in each other’s ability to handle things from a reliable point of view.
Help them cope to influence
Help them understand the ways and different personalities of people. Teach them good judgment to make better decisions in choosing the people that will influence their decisions.
Teach them how to stand up for themselves
Peer influence can be forced and intimidating. The effects of peer pressure can force your teenager to succumb to the will of others. This is why it is important to have a close connection between you and your teenager so they know they can tell you things.
When you know what your teen is going through, you can help them address their issues. Through encouraging their strength and independence, you are helping them make decisions and stand up for themselves during such pressure with their peers.
Encourage socialising more
Remind them that they should always socialise with people, even if they are not from their peer group. This will introduce them to different personalities and natures of people, teaching them social intelligence and skills to adapt and adjust to certain situations they may be confronted with.
Help them cope with self-esteem
Identify where their self-esteem is low and encourage them in healthy ways to boost these aspects.
If they are not very confident about making new friends, encourage your teen to take part in various groups or classes that would introduce more people into their lives. If they lack the courage to talk to new people, help them ease slowly into the circle by introducing your child to people their age or with the same interests.
In A Nutshell…
Having peers is inevitable. Your teenager will meet different people and encounter plenty of challenges, especially with their social circles. As a parent, you might even feel like you’re falling behind with what is happening with your growing child.
The important thing about being a parent to a growing teenager is that you love them and that you’re calm and patient with what they are going through. You won’t always understand your teenager, but never forget to make the effort of being part of their lives – both the good and the bad.
The effects of peer pressure will wear out as your teenager grows older and learn how to deal with the influences of their peers, but you will always be there to make sure they get through it.
What do you think is the most challenging part of being a parent of a teenager? Share your thoughts with us!