Dealing With Peer Pressure...
Come on! ALL of us are cutting math. Who wants to go take that quiz? We're going to take a walk and get lunch instead. Let's go!" says the coolest kid in your class. Do you do what you know is right and go to math class, quiz and all? Or do you give in and go with them?
you grow older, you'll be faced with some challenging decisions. Some don't have
a clear right or wrong answer - like should you play soccer or field hockey?
Other decisions involve serious moral questions, like whether to cut class, try
cigarettes, or lie to your parents.
decisions on your own is hard enough, but when other people get involved and try
to pressure you one way or another it can be even harder. People who are your
age, like your classmates, are called peers. When they try to influence how you
act, to get you to do something, it's called peer pressure.
It's something everyone has to deal with - even adults. Let's talk about how to
influence your life, even if you don't realize it, just by spending time with
you. You learn from them, and they learn from you. It's only human nature to
listen to and learn from other people in your age group.
can have a positive influence on each other. Maybe another student in your
science class taught you an easy way to remember the planets in the solar
system, or someone on the soccer team taught you a cool trick with the ball. You
might admire a friend who is always a good sport and try to be more like him or
her. Maybe you got others excited about your new favorite book, and now
everyone's reading it. These are examples of how peers positively influence each
other every day.
peers influence each other in negative ways. For example, a few kids in school
might try to get you to cut class with them, your soccer friend might try to
convince you to be mean to another player and never pass her the ball, or a kid
in the neighborhood might want you to shoplift with him.
Do People Give in to Peer Pressure?
kids give in to peer pressure because they want to be liked, to fit in, or
because they worry that other kids may make fun of them if they don't go along
with the group. Others may go along because they are curious to try something
new that others are doing. The idea that "everyone's doing it" may
influence some kids to leave their better judgment, or their common sense,
to Walk Away From Peer Pressure
is tough to be the only one who says "no" to peer pressure, but you
can do it. Paying attention to your own feelings and beliefs about what is right
and wrong can help you know the right thing to do. Inner strength and
self-confidence can help you stand firm, walk away, and resist doing something
when you know better.
can really help to have at least one other peer, or friend, who is willing to
say "no," too. This takes a lot of the power out of peer pressure and
makes it much easier to resist. It's great to have friends with values similar
to yours who will back you up when you don't want to do something.
probably had a parent or teacher advise you to "choose your friends
wisely." Peer pressure is a big reason why they say this. If you choose
friends who don't use drugs, cut class, smoke cigarettes, or lie to their
parents, then you probably won't do these things either, even if other kids do.
Try to help a friend who's having trouble resisting peer pressure. It can be
powerful for one kid to join another by simply saying, "I'm with you -
if you're faced with peer pressure while you're alone, there are still things
you can do. You can simply stay away from peers who pressure you to do stuff you
know is wrong. You can tell them "no" and walk away. Better yet, find
other friends and classmates to pal around with.
you continue to face peer pressure and you're finding it difficult to handle,
talk to someone you trust. Don't feel guilty if you've made a mistake or two.
Talking to a parent, teacher, or school counselor can help you feel much better
and prepare you for the next time you face peer pressure.
Positive Peer Pressure