According to Bonnie Zucker, PsyD, “It’s never easy to see a child experiencing pain, sadness, even loss. But it’s those experiences that can help them learn how to be emotionally healthy adults, if they have the right tools”
We often imagine peer pressure as something that is negative. Teens gathered around, encouraging each other to smoke, take drugs, party, start having sex or even missing school. We have no idea that if harnessed properly, peer pressure can be good for your teen.
When peers come together to encourage each other to be better versions of themselves whether by changing each other’s thought patterns, values or beliefs, then the peer pressure is positive and it’s definitely good for your teen.
For the peer pressure to be positive, your teen has to surround him/herself with the right people. People who are not out to turn themselves into any sort of nuisance in the society. The right people include people who encourage them to work hard, be competitive, join clubs, be active in sports, be assertive and show kindness to others. These are all forms of peer pressure but the thing is these are positive ones. The activities are things society does not frown at.
Susan Albers, PsyD says “It’s hard to say no to peer pressure.”
Teens will always be influenced by their friends. At this age, their personalities are still being formed so they can be swayed by anything. It is expected that when you spend a lot of time with someone, you begin to pick up some of their habits; this is what happens with peer pressure. Teens begin to pick each other’s habits
Positive peer pressure is one of the most powerful and underutilized tools for the growth and development of your teen.
Finding Positive Peers
The first step in getting this type of pressure is making sure your teen surrounds himself with friends who will encourage and push them to become better versions of themselves. Monitor your teens and make sure they are not hanging around people who are always encouraging them to do things that go against the core values you instilled in them, then you may not want to advise them to stop hanging around those friends. Alternatively, if they make friends with people who encourage them to act in ways that are beneficial to them and the society, then be excited at the idea and encourage them to strengthen the friendship.
Mark J. Johnson, PsyD said “Bullying, clique groups, peer pressure, dating, and drugs and alcohol are major topics of concern for children and their parents.”
A teen who wants to boost his/her grades at school will find a pal in his/her class who is smart and knowledgeable. Encourage your teen to make friends with people who are motivated to work hard in every area of their life. Your teen might be shy but then learns to speak out because of the kind of friends he goes about, it is also a good thing. This can be considered a form of pressure that is good for your teen. The key is for your teen to want to be the very best they can be. He/she would then be forced to find people who have the same zeal.
Both of these are all forms of positive pressure and they are good for your teen. Some of the habits and attitudes we portray are shaped by our environment and the people we meet at every stage of our lives. Play an active role in the life of your teen, encourage them and monitor their friends and activities, so you can be aware of the people who have a major influence in their lives and on their character.
If your teen belongs to a group that exerts positive peer pressure, it can also help them give up bad habits and pick up healthy ones that can impact on their personality and their future. It could cause a shift in their perspective about life and motivate them to be the best and be productive. In this instance, the pressure from their peers can actually become an inspiration. Your teen can build a more supportive social group by finding people who encourage them to emulate positive values.
The message here is to pay close attention to the people you teen interact with frequently because they can have a genuine effect on their thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.