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Teen Issues Topics..

You are here : home > Teen Issues > Peer Pressure > Teenagers and Peer Pressure

Teenagers and Peer Pressure

Teenagers and Peer Pressure

Vidya Bhagwat was horrified when she caught her teenage son trying to creep into the house in an obviously inebriated condition at three in the morning. She recounts, "I was shocked to see my 14-year-old son reeking of alcohol and barely able to stand on his feet. I could see that there was no point talking to him right then, but I didn't spare him the next day. His excuse was that all his friends were drinking and he didn't want to be a prude. And then to make things worse, he actually began to argue saying that it wasn't a 'big deal' anyway and that he knew I wouldn't understand."

Sumit Roy found a packet of cigarettes in his 16-year-old son's backpack. He says, "I just didn't know how to react. I confronted Amish and he had the audacity to tell me that I couldn't say anything to him, as I was a smoker myself. Besides, most of his friends smoked. He said it was just a 'social thing' and that they just smoked a few cigarettes at parties. I'm just worried that today it's nicotine, but tomorrow it could be marijuana or something worse. If I tell him that, he just tells me to relax. I can see I'm not getting through to him."

These are situations every parent has to face at some point. If it's not drinking, it's smoking or inappropriate dressing or late nights or overspending…the list is endless and so are the arguments. There seems to be no solution as parents and teenagers talk themselves hoarse trying to explain their respective points of view, their arguments apparently falling on deaf ears.

Parents, speaking as adults who have forgotten the angst of their teenage years tend to discount the very real power of peer pressure. For teenagers, desperately trying to fit in, peer pressure is something that they find very difficult to withstand. However, conscientious parents are not going to allow their children to blindly live by the dictates of their peer group if it's not good for them. This is the age when children are trying to find themselves and develop their value systems. At this time, it is their parents and not their peers who will be their best guides. Unfortunately, they can't see that.

The question is how do parents counteract the effects of peer pressure? Most of them follow the traditional method of criticism and condemnation that increases in frequency with every transgression till it becomes plain nagging. Even as adults we know how effective that is. It isn't. Your teenager will simply tune you out. They will feel that you never have anything good to say so why bother listening. This is definitely not the response you want to get. Here are some tips that should help you become more adept at counteracting the forces of peer pressure.

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Experienced.11 years ago
i grew up outside india. my parents have often scolded me for the teni-wini mistakes that i have comitted and they have said that it was going to cost alot.
indians are a group of people who holed tradition and values as a major stakeholder in the up bringing of children. it shocks many an indian parent to see that his kid is smoking or drinking and dressing inaproprately.
i have had many parents tell me that rtheir children are the vicinms of negative peer influence and the media. and i believe that this is a sentiment that many parents who are reading this would share.
however we should always keep in mind that some forces are inevitable and that no matter how kids are brought up, soem influences will remain.
thus as a parent, it is ones responsivlity to set a good example and also give the equl and most attention to growing children. showing children that mom and dad care, will in itself drive home the message that doing something wrong will upset the parents.
it is imporatnt that parents are also not overtly protective . let nature take its course and at the same time stick your oars in.
i wish all parents of adolscents a happy and enjoyable time.
though you amy feel that you will fall at the rocky edge hold on don't ever give up. you may be giving up more than you think you are
@.11 years ago
i couldn't say anything to him, as i was a smoker myself.

i think your son is right ..... set an example and your kids will follow
anonymous.11 years ago
i disagree with the part that says depressed teenagers complain of psychosomatic illnesses "to get attention" or because they want sympathy. while that may be true in some cases, that is definitely not true in others.

depression can sometimes actually bring physical pain, not just imagined pains in people who want attention.

i think the article should inclue how the pains are not always imagined, sometimes they are real. they are the effects of depression. not everyone just wants attention.
Jamesha Woods
Jamesha Woods.11 years ago
i think mostly everything said as true. i have a 15 year old and she is showing the exact signs of depression, and it honestly hurts me that my daughter is depressed. but im goint to try some of the ways to stop the depression ways. thanks for the help. :)
Dont want to say
Dont want to say.11 years ago
i am 16 taking my a-levels and i think i am depressed... all i see as a positive thing is the way i was when i was a child - i don't see other people and say i want to be like them.

i will hold on as some of you have said here.
Anonymous.11 years ago
"psychosomatic illnesses: depression can result in a teenager displaying psychosomatic symptoms like dizzy spells, headaches, stomach-aches, etc. in an attempt to garner some sympathy. they feel that this is the only way they can get some positive attention. their supposed indisposition can also get them out of uncomfortable situations that they may not want to face." i agree with this statement, although only to an extent. i think it is unfair and incorrect to say that their feeling ill is simply a cry for attention, as sometimes depression can cause a teenager so much discomfort, pain, anxiousness, stress, etc. that they do actually feel physically sick and emotionally drained. as someone said before, "these are the effects of depression. not everyone just wants attention." i agree with this fully. although there are people who use their depression (or even the excuse of depression) as an attention seeking excuse, some people actually manage or choose to hide their depression so well, that the rest of the world is clueless to the pain behind their ingenious mask. furthermore; sometimes a depressed teen does not wish to be like someone else, but merely to feel happiness again, or to have their peers recognize them and appreciate them, or simply to be improve who they already are. i think one of the reasons that so many teenagers whom do not have obvious reasons to becoming depressed, is because of this stereotypical sense of perfection we all try, and fail, to achieve. as no one is perfect, and if everyone was, then it would be a truly boring and unimaginative world. it is our imperfections that make us unique and our imperfections that make us beautiful. we should learn to laugh at our mistakes, and accept ours (and others) flaws. we should not insult others to increase our popularity, or our own self value, we should instead compliment others and encourage others; treating all with the equality they deserve. causing another to smile, can actually make you yourself, feel happier. i think parents should accept and know their own flaws, and learn to love them, and show this to their children; so that their children in turn can accept and love their own flaws. depressed people do need help, even if they do not ask for it. if you think your child is depressed, speak to them, help them, and find them help! depression is not something people 'just get over' or 'snap out of'. it is a long, slow, painful and draining illness, that will need the support of loved ones/others in order for them to recover from it. don't give up! even though sometimes the hardest part of living is taking every breathe, there is never a reason large enough to stop living. if you allow it, and try hard enough, things will get better.
Anonymous.11 years ago
some people really struggle with self-harming, and i am sick of people who do not struggle with it, and instead use 'cuts' as an attention seeking, or popularity method to get into a certain crowd. some people feel real pain, and need real hope. and it is not something to joke about or take lightly. so grow up kids, please.
.11 years ago
firstly, i completely agree with 'anonymous, jamaica'.
something i would like to contribute to this is that, i am sick of people saying to other people 'they have no reason to be sad'. it is people's on perspective that makes them upset, and although perception is rarely reality, it is for that person.
that's all :)
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