At some point in our lives, we are all subjected to peer pressure situations. I vividly remember my mother telling me all the time how ‘I am who I hang with.’ I took these words of advice to heart and realized at an early age how true these words actually were.
When we think of peer pressure in teenagers we usually associate it with negativity. However, some forms of peer pressure can actually be positive such as when someone influences them in a well-to-do manner. For every negative influence on your child, there are 5 to 10 positive ones which can help shape your child’s life and it’s your job to guide your child out of the darkness and into the light by staying proactive and becoming involved.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of having to conform with a social group and do something you really don’t want to; it even happens to adults. When it comes to teenagers, it’s extremely easy for them to fall into a cycle of peer pressure to the point where they find it difficult to crawl out.
The effects of preer pressure have caused drug abuse among teenagers to run rampant in today’s world. Recently, in the United States, two states, Washington and Colorado, passed a bill allowing the use of marijuana. You can imagine the negative impact this will have on their teenagers. It’s hard to understand how a parent thinks it’s okay to smoke marijuana in their household and not expect their teenager to fall into the same habit. I don’t know about you, but everyone I know who has a history of smoking marijuana, is extremely unproductive as a human being in their household and most of them have difficulty retaining a job.
Teenagers are heavily influenced by their parents as well as their peers and it makes it so easy for them to fall into the same habits as those around them. We’ve all heard many parents tell their teenagers how people who do drugs are not their friends. This is easy for a parent to say but in reality, teenagers have friends they care about and most are reluctant to give up that friendship unless the person commits capital murder!
Teenagers who are most at risk are the ones who come from unstable homes or homes where they are being raised in a single parent household. It’s important for the parent to communicate their thoughts and feelings on the subject and obtain feedback from their teenager in order to provide the best possible outcome of whether or not the teen is going to do drugs.
We need to teach our children that it’s perfectly all right to say ‘no’ even to a good friend who is involved in some illicit drug activity such as smoking marijuana or popping pills. As parents, we also need to understand the difficult challenges our children face with peer pressure.
The absolute best way to prevent your children from taking drugs is to create a strong bond with them from the moment they are in the womb and all through adulthood. Children who maintain closeness with their parents are less likely to commit crimes or do drugs because they have higher self-esteem and they don’t want to disappoint themselves or their families out of love and respect.