Who are peers?
People belonging to the same age group, sharing the same social status, friends are referred to as peers.
What is Peer Pressure?
Peer Pressure is the influence exerted by people belonging to the same social group. This pressure has the capacity to change the way a person behaves.
Peer Pressure among teenagers
The teenage phase of life is the most crucial and vulnerable phase. During this period of time, teenagers have the tendency to refrain from following the instructions of their elders and explore everything that they feel like without considering its consequences. Understanding about the influence of peer pressure among teenagers is very important because when a teenager grows, his peers plays an important role in shaping his nature and character, the way he behaves, how his likes, dislikes and preferences are established. The adult life of a person is somewhat shaped on the basis of his teenage phase.
Peer Pressure takes place in two ways. Generally, when discussing about peer pressure, the negative side is highlighted more than the positive side. Although a lot of teenagers goes through negative peer pressure, yet the positive side of the same cannot be denied.
Positive Peer Pressure
Peer Pressure has a lot of negative connotations but it too has a good side. Peer Pressure can also act as a reflecting tool for a person. In such type of peer pressure, peers can convince a person to do good things. Peers can encourage and motivate one another to accomplish their goals and dreams to become a better person in life. For example, encouraging a friend to study hard, score good grades and get a job. Positive peer pressure has the following benefits –
°° Leads to a stable and focussed mindset
°° Gain new experiences
°° Get rid of bad habits
°° Motivation to achieve goals
°° Healthy social life
°° Develop strong personal identity
°° Sound emotional state
Negative Peer Pressure
Negative Peer Pressure is the most common type of peer pressure. Almost everyone of us, knowingly or unknowingly has fallen prey to it. In negative peer pressure, peers convince a person to do something bad. A person might be pressurised to take a wrong or unethical decision. For example, encouraging a peer to bunk class, consume alcohol or get into a fight with someone. If a person succumbs to the negative peer pressure around him, he lands himself into trouble. In the teenage phase of life, an individual desires to get recognition and attention in the society and in thirst of that, he is ready to shun his own identity in order to fit into another group whom he admire. He would imitate the lifestyle, clothing pattern, hairstyle, way of interacting and even changes his likes and preferences. When an individual falls for negative peer pressure, he
°° loses his own identity
°° isolates himself from his near and dear ones
°° Adopt bad habits
°° Divert himself from his aims and goals in life
°° Lack confidence
°° Suffers mental health issues
°° Land himself into dangerous circumstances
How to cope with peer pressure
It is very important for the parents of the teenagers to identify what is going on with their child. The parents should establish a friendly relation with their children so that they approach their parents if they face any dilemma. Also, the parents should make the children differentiate between good and bad, right and wrong from a very early stage.
Even if a teenager falls for negative peer pressure, his elders should offer him a helping hand and stand by him to overcome all his problems. He should be taught self love and should be made aware of his own unique identity.
Peer pressure is not always bad but a person should identify what kind of peer pressure he is influenced by.