Peer pressure and addiction is common during
teenage years. Find out the impact of the peer group on your teenage kid and
how to help the teen deal with the peer pressure.
Peer pressure and addiction come hand in
hand in a given situation. Although one must remember that they do not
necessarily coexist in all cases. Teens are very vulnerable; they are
developing a personality and at the same time learning a lot through
exploration of all the uncharted territories. This at times leads to wrong
choices due to overt experimentation and lack of awareness and support. The
result is addiction to some undesirable habit that leads to harm and darkness.
Just like you are a parent today, you
would remember that even during your teenage
years, you were a lot more dependent on
information from your peer group than your parents or teachers. There are
several issues that the teen feels more comfortable to discuss with the peer
group than with any elder. So the impact of the peer group is very strong and
undeniable in any teen’s life by far. This is where making the correct choice
becomes so essential.
Leads to this Deadly Combo?
As mentioned in the previous paragraph,
teenage is a period when kids engage in a lot of experimentation. Some of them
lead to some good or resourceful habit while, some lead to some bad and
undesirable habit like addiction in different forms. As the teen tries to comprehend
the world and how things work, they are involved in activities that may begin
with simple curiosity but gradually end in addiction. As teens prefer to
discuss ideas and thoughts more at ease with their peer group, the interaction
and intermingling of those ideas take place mostly here too.
As one engages in a certain addictive or
potentially addictive activity, he spreads out the word in the group, and soon
every other member falls into the ring. Then the group also tries to enhance
this ring and draws others into it. This is when your teenager
who probably was so far, not involved in any addictive activity, gets drawn into
it, and becomes a victim of addiction as well.
the Addiction is Born and Grows
There are many ways in which an
addiction is born. Sometimes through mere experimentation or through wilful
continuation of the act, being well aware of the fact that it is harmful,
simply because a certain type of pleasure is derived from it. A teen can get
drawn into the group due to peer
pressure, like by making him feel isolated
unless he falls into the ring. Then there is this urge to be considered as
‘cool’ and ‘happening’ by engaging in certain addictive activities and be
acknowledged in the peer group.
Then there are also situations where the
teen is allured to the addiction. Like, he is offered a false picture of
pleasure and fun. Addiction
alcohol, smoke, obscene material or any
substance abuse does indeed provide an initial state of euphoria that is
completely temporary. And then there is this sense of gloom and dejection
setting in that draws out all the positive energy from the system, leaving the
body and mind incapable of good performance be it, in studies or sports. But
once the addiction is developed, it is quite difficult to come out of the
Teen Is Reluctant to Come Out of the Addiction
This is because of peer pressure again.
The teen fears that he will be hauled up by the members or leaders of his peer
group and be made fun of and humiliated for being not strong enough or man
enough to handle the situation and giving into the wishes of the parents. Often
we find that such peer groups who engage in these activities belong to a
problematic background that they require a lot of help themselves. The teen
therefore keeps tugging along the peer group for the fear of embarrassment,
isolation and losing his status as a ‘cool’ guy.
It thus becomes very important for the
parents to help the teen deal with the peer pressure and come out of the
addiction through an organised approach of support. Be affectionate to the teen
and help him realise that these are bad practices and he is wasting his life
indulging in pursuing such habits. Provide him with exciting and fun
alternatives that will engage his mind and take his attention away from the
addictive activities. Ensure that he is living in a positive environment that
is conducive to emotional and psychological growth. Eventually, you are sure to
see positive results; you just need to be patient and understanding.