Teen Perspective: Resisting Peer Pressure
By Chelsea Schroeder
Everyday millions of teens find themselves faced with the problem of peer pressure. One wrong decision could eventually lead to serious consequences. Peer pressure is an ongoing problem in today’s society. Many teens feel powerless to speak out in these kinds of situations, and don’t know how to say “no” when faced with a tempting choice. What many don’t know is that there are multiple ways and reasons to resist peer pressure, and start walking the path to a healthier life.
Why Teens Give in to Peer Pressure
- Most teens yearn to feel wanted, or “in the crowd.”
- Many could be depressed, self-conscious or have personal problems, and it is their way of relieving stress.
- If teens feel that “everyone is doing it”, then they will most likely go along with the crowd in order to maintain their social importance.
Consequences of Peer Pressure
Getting involved with actions like drinking, smoking and various other promiscuous activities could possibly lead to:
- Higher risk of unhealthy relationships.
- One bad decision could easily lead to many more down the road.
- Most of these activities are bad for your health and can jeopardize your future.
Facts about Peer Pressure
- 75% of high school students have admitted to trying alcohol
- Three million teenagers smoke in the United States
- 50% of teens report feeling pressured in regard to sex in a relationship.
Ways to Resist Peer Pressure
- Setting goals for sports, academics, future plans, etc.
- Participating in new activities.
- Make friends with people who don’t push you into things you do not feel comfortable with or that you think is a bad idea.
- Talk to a family member, friend, teacher etc. everyday about any struggles that you might be facing.
Once you make the decision to resist peer pressure, you are making the commitment to a long, healthy life full of smiles, laughs and memories. Always remember that your future holds greater importance than any cigarette, drug, or alcohol.
At any given point you can release your greatest self. Don’t let anyone hold you back. Don’t let anyone dilute you. Don’t be peer pressured into being less than you are. People willing to dilute themselves for the sake of others is one of the great tragedies of our time. Stop letting others define and set the pace for your life. Get out there and be your best. Do your best. Live your best. Make every day count and you’ll see how exponentially more exciting, thrilling, successful, happy and full your life will be. Steve Maraboli
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.