It’s been scientifically proven that when a group of teens becomes friends, the probability of them making stupid decisions rises. Teens can influence each other so much more than they realize. The definition of peer pressure is the pressure peers put on one another to take a certain action or conform to a certain standard.
Peer pressure can sometimes be positive but it usually has a very negative connotation. When you think of peer pressure, chances are your mind conjures up images of cigarettes and alcohol and other damaging behaviors that are typically associated with teenagers, though those may not always be the behaviors teens are pressured into acting on.
It’s natural human instinct to want to fit in. There’s nothing wrong with it, and the more time students spend with their peers, the more desperate they are to fit in with them. Sometimes they go to impossible or dangerous lengths to do so.
A teenager typically chooses another teen or group of teens they’d like to be friends with and then tries to figure out what they might need to do to fit in with them. These actions can be damaging like smoking, doing drugs, or drinking. Or they can be really beneficial, like eating healthier, exercising more, or aspiring towards higher grades.
Although many teenagers base their decisions on peer pressure, there is always the option to say no. When teenagers start giving in to peer pressure they don’t often think about what they really want to do, or what they think is right. This is where things start going wrong and good kids become good kids no longer.
Teenagers need to be able to build their self confidence up to a level where they feel comfortable rejecting actions of behaviors they aren’t comfortable with. Having a friend who also says no to dangerous behaviors can help.
Otherwise, reinforcing positive behavior and talking to teenagers about the dangers and consequences of peer pressure can minimize the chances that they engage in such behaviours.