Why You Need to be Ready for Peer Pressure

Puberty is a Sneaky Thing

Teenagers, and all the interesting things that come along with them, sneak up on us before we even think we are ready. I barely blinked before Cameron turned 13. His voice is getting deep, he’s taller than me, and what is food? It disappears before I see it. This kid is still writing the parenting manual at my house because, clearly, this book will never be done.

Peer pressure hasn’t really hit my house yet, but I’m waiting on it. I think at some point, most kids encounter it. It might not be at school, but at school events, the park, mall, wherever else teens hang out.

NOTE: In drug descriptions, I will use the legal term for the substance. I prefer not to use slang.

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The Main Lesson

I’m skipping the main description of peer pressure, because anyone reading this is an adult and most of us have been there at least once. (Remember cutting class? That counts.) Everyone’s description is a bit different, so I’ll leave that one open.

Why do you need to be ready for it?

  1. Blood pressure purposes. I’ve had a stroke and it’s not fun. I’d like everyone reading this to avoid that scenario when your teen comes home and wants to talk about being asked to smoke a cigarette, marijuana, drink or do many of the wildly stupid challenges they have seen on YouTube.(Julian has enlightened me on that arena, and all I can say is… wow. We have had to have a few talks on that, seeing as he is the family stunt man. I can only hope those talks stick in his mind.)
  2. To know what to say. Everyone sees things differently, but nobody wants to judge their kid, right? I don’t do scripts in parenting. because that never goes well, but I do suggest asking your child what was going on when they were asked to cut class/ use a drug/drink/etc, how they felt about it, whether they wanted to, why or why not/ what happened, etc. This will likely get you better results. Talking calmly usually does. Your teen is more likely to talk to a calmer parent.
  3. Watch out for personality and other changes. Peer pressure can get intense. If you dealt with it as a teen, you can probably remember how hard it was to deal with- anxiety, depression, even anger. If your child decides for some reason to go along with the things he or she is being pressured into, there will be even bigger changes. You’ll probably be able to see those- personality changes, maybe changes in how they dress, eat, etc.
  4. To be able to help if your child doesn’t go along with the crowd. Most teens just want to fit in. Cameron had to wear a heart monitor 24/7 for a month, and it had cords that dangled a bit. He was usually able to keep them covered, but one of his classmates saw the cord and asked what it was- he told her it was for earbuds. He didn’t want to tell her he was on a heart monitor. He just wanted to be like every other 7th grader and have earbuds dangling out of his pocket at school. If your child faces peer pressure and decides not to go along with everyone else, they may face some backlash, most likely in the form of bullying. Please see my post Bullying: A Closer Look if you need information on this issue.
  5. To be able to stay informed. I mentioned YouTube videos earlier- those stunt videos are just one trend that teens get into, but it’s good to stay somewhat up to date on things. Talk to other parents, family members, etc. It can be helpful in trying to deter your teen from potentially dangerous activities.

Happy parenting! It’s a blast, isn’t it?

Pics courtesy of Unsplash

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Twin Mummy and Daddy
Bringing up Georgia

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19 thoughts on “Why You Need to be Ready for Peer Pressure

  1. Kate on thin ice (@kateonthinice) says:

    I have two teens and a tween. Tween right in the grip of puberty with all that entails. I think although being quite a chaotic parent, I have instilled some good values and strong will in my children that will keep them safe. It is scary though to see parents where things have gone wrong sometimes fatally who really obviously thought everything was fine. Great tip on staying calm to encourage them to talk but harder to put into practice sometimes #ThatFridayLinky

    Liked by 1 person

  2. john adams says:

    This is fascinating. My eldest is only 9 but I see her facing peer pressure now. Not, you’ll understand, that she’s coming to me asking about drugs etc but I see pressure to fit in with clothes and tech gadgets. Well on the way to proper teenagehood! Blog posts like this by more experienced parents always leave me terrified as they leave little to the imagination as to what’s coming my way! Headed over from #thatfridaylinky

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Radisalvjeivc says:

    I’m rather glad that my kids were in their teens before YouTube was in existence. My son handled peer pressure better than many, but my daughter was another story. How much harder it would have been for us if she’d had a cell phone and access to the internet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. magicalmamablog says:

    My little one is only one and a half, but I am already so worried about the stupid things kids do and try to pressure others to do. Things seem to be popular at a younger and younger age as time goes on. These are great tips to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing with #WanderingWednesday

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michele says:

    I don’t have kids that are close to teen years yet, but it’s definitely on my radar! We all want to fit in and be accepted. It can make us make some interesting decisions.

    Thanks for joining #WanderingWednesday! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jacquie | Seeking Simple Life says:

    One of the biggest benefits of having a strong relationship with our kids that is open and honest is getting through the teen years. Being more present and in-the-moment so that you can pick up on the little things is extremely important. I’d like to say we got lucky with our boys, but the more I reflect I realize we built the relationship to help guide us through those years. This article gives a solid foundation of advice for any age. Starting while they’re young is really important so they are just as prepared as we are when they are teens. #WanderingWednesday

    Liked by 1 person

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