Do you think that peer pressure exists? Actually, it is, but not in the sense that Hollywood and the press would have you believe. Your child’s peer group should be considered, but don’t worry too much if they don’t coerce or pressure each other into trying anything too risky.
Subtle peer pressure occurs when your adolescent notices what their peers are doing and decides to join it because they want to be accepted. Assuming that “everyone is doing it” can influence young people to act in ways they later regret.
And it’s especially true when young people believe that the “cool kids” are participating in some activity. Teens who incorrectly assume that the popular youngsters smoke, drink, and skip school are themselves cool may try these activities themselves.
In general, teens tend to associate with peers who engage in similar activities. Your adolescent is more likely to hang out with others who share their values if they participate in positive activities like athletics and the arts. Your adolescent’s propensity to start drinking and taking risks increases if they hang out with other teens who have those interests.
Your child may appear level-headed and wise most of the time, but emotions and hormones can cause even the most sensible person to make poor choices. Adolescents are typical in their pursuit of acceptance, exploration of limits, and experimentation with identities. Therefore, you shouldn’t assume that your child won’t be affected by peer pressure.
However, as a parent, you have unparalleled insight into your adolescent’s character. How susceptible to persuasion is he? If that’s the case, he’ll probably end up doing something he normally wouldn’t since he followed someone else’s lead. Some young people can say “no” to temptation even when their friends are engaging in it.
Listed below are the top five things that teenagers are typically forced to perform by their peers:
Using Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco
These are, as you might expect, some of the most common forms of peer pressure that your teen may encounter. However, as was previously said, this does not necessarily mean that a buddy is forcing your youngster to drink beer out of a Solo cup. Instead, the mere availability of alcohol, cannabis, or tobacco may be enough to get your kid to give in to peer pressure and say “yes.”
Today’s youth regularly use electronic cigarettes. Some people mistakenly believe they are safe, and teenagers typically find their flavors to be very appealing. Many teenagers get electronic cigarettes from online stores without their parents’ knowledge.
Teens are more likely to experiment with e-cigarettes than with conventional cigarettes since the former seem to carry less of a social stigma.
Some teens may be motivated to shoplift by their peers. In other cases, it may be due to a desire to join the “in” crowd and get the latest and greatest teen trend, be it an expensive video game or makeup. Your adolescent can come to the conclusion that stealing is the quickest method to achieve what they want if they hear enough stories about how other teens do it without getting caught.
The mind of an adolescent will tell you that it is safer to be the bully than to be the victim of bullying. Your teen may become a target if you side with or defend the bully’s victim.
As a result, it’s easy to feel that you have no choice but to engage in the mocking or cruel actions that others engage in as a means to avoid being the target of the bullying. Cyberbullying is a serious problem in the modern Internet age.
On social media, where a herd mentality may take hold, your kid may feel pressured to participate in when someone is being bullied or called out. Teens often act and talk in ways they would never do in public while hiding behind their screens.
You might assume that only young women engage in such risky behavior, but you can rest confident that young men also face peer pressure to engage in sexual activity. Sexual promiscuity is probably a common topic of gossip among students.
Teens today also have a serious problem with sexting. Many adults mistakenly believe their child “would never do that,” but research shows the vast majority of teenagers do share sexually explicit stuff online. Because of the widespread acceptance of sexting among young people, many of them are oblivious to the dangers inherent in sending and receiving images that reveal some or all of their naked bodies.
Other Risky Behavior
Teenagers often act in ways they would never accept in front of adults when they are around friends they are trying to impress. Wanting to fit in with their peers can lead teenagers to act irrationally, such as speeding to impress a date or being a “good friend” by helping others cheat on their homework.