Teenagers are the most frequently mentioned when it comes to peer pressure because of a lack of life experience, as well as psychological and physiological changes that make them more susceptible to impact.
Peer pressure is not always positive since at the age of personality is not fully developed, gender curiosity, and desire to explore and experiment, your child’s friends can do things wrong and illegal, and your child will have a high possibility of that risks.
The article will help you understand what is peer pressure and how the 3 dangers below from negative peer pressure can bring detrimental effects to your child’s development.
What is Peer pressure?
Peer pressure is when your child is influenced by people from the same social group (same age, same class, etc.) and he/she must change his/her attitudes, values or behaviors to align with the group’s standards.
Peer pressure is from peer influence which is when your child chooses to do something your child doesn’t want to do but he/she has to because he/she wants to feel accepted and appreciated by friends. These actions are not always against your child’s will.
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Why is your child affected by teenage peer presure?
The anterior cortex isn’t fully developed
Teens are often impulsive because their anterior cortex, which plays an important role in controlling temperament and personality, is not yet fully developed. At this age, adolescents face fluctuating hormone levels, changes in emotions and sexual feelings make them not mature enough to manage these issues safely or wisely.
Teenagers are often easily influenced by their friends, because they are in the developmental stage and separated from the influence of their parents. However, they have not yet established their own values, have little understanding of the relationship between people, and are not aware of the consequences of their actions.
The desire to integrate
Is also the reason that creates teen peer pressure. During evolution, humans survived thanks to their collaboration. Being rejected by the group means death because they cannot fight wild animals on their own and get enough food.
That instinct still affects us and your kids today. To be recognized, we and your kids have to adjust attitudes, behaviors and beliefs to match the value system of the group in which we and they join.
Social norms are the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are accepted and expected by members of the same social group because these are considered correct and appropriate. These standards are shared directly or indirectly through the words and actions of the members of the group.
Social media like Facebook or Instagram also contributes significantly in amplifying teen peer pressure. Research shows that people with more frequent social media checkups during the week are 2.7 times more likely to develop depression.
3 Dangers from negative teens peer pressure
Some teenagers may choose to try things they are not normally interested in, such as smoking or behaving in antisocial ways. Among the effects of negative peer pressure, 3 most obvious effects adversely affect your child:
Exposed to pornography
Research shows that most pornography and sex addiction begin in adolescence. Watching pornography can flare from an act of mere curiosity to pressure from friends – what we’ve already called – negative peer pressure.
Your child’s friends can start from watching nude/semi-nude pictures of girls to watching pornography. At the age of pre-puberty or puberty with strong curiosity about gender, and the fact that (90% sure) they have a smartphone with them, your child has a high possibility of watching pornography with their friends.
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Then there would be likely a “competition” of who is the expert of pornography, to show off the knowledge about gender, your child might watch it secretly and frequently (staying late for example). Due to the addictive nature of pornography, your child may become a pornography addict without you knowing.
That is the reason why smart parents have to act now to protect those harmful content from approaching their child’s life. Many parents have installed online content filtering tools to minimize the risks of their kids exposed to pornographic content.
Besides, early access and addiction to porn have more likelihood to lead to sexting – sending, receiving and transmitting pornographic messages, pictures, videos, behaviors that can damage the reputation of a whole life of a man but are overlooked by today’s teenagers.
Sexting is the sending, receiving or forwarding of pornographic messages via text message or email.
Besides curiosity – the desire for exploration and experimentation about what a naked person looks like, negative peer pressure is also the main factor leading to sexting. When your child sees their friends engaging in sexting, they would feel they are not cool enough or will be looked down on if they reject sending out nude pictures of themselves.
If your child is a boy and his friends both have explicit pictures of girls on their phones, your boy might feel pressured to do the same. On the other hand, if your child is a girl and other girls are bragging about sending a nude photo to their boyfriend, your child may feel the need to do so because “everyone else is doing it.”
There are facts about sexting you should know. If your child sends a sexy image, they have no control and don’t know how widespread the image will spread. Victims of sending sex messages may suffer serious psychological harm and suffer repeated damages to their reputations.
Also, sexting is illegal involving anyone under the age of 18 or harassing anyone of any age. Teenagers can be charged with the sexual offender if they create, receive, or disseminate pornographic images or videos of a person under the age of 18.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse surveyed in 2016 and found that 1.9 million teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 have used illegal drugs.
Most of these teenagers reported being “invited” to try it out by their peers. When they see all their friends trying and enjoying drugs, on their minds, drug use is part of a normal and rewarding teen experience.
Also, they want to be accepted and integrated. When their best friend offers them alcohol or drugs, a high percentage that they will agree. Besides, because of curiosity, they look to drugs or alcohol just to know how drunk or high is.
Using online content filtering tools not just helps you keep your kids safe from harmful content like pornography, then reducing the risks of sexting, it will notify you when your child is looking for stimulants and drug information on the Internet before it is too late.
Help your child control teen peer pressure
The key is to have a balance between yourself and your team. Here are 3 ways to help your child do this.
Communicate with your child effectively
Stay connected with your child with happy and informal conversations after school, during mealtime, or before bed. This can help your child feel more comfortable talking to you if he feels “forced” to do something he is uncomfortable with (such as sexting, substance use) as well. like sharing with you if your child feels negatively affected by their peers.
A common misconception among parents is that when parents worry that their child is being negatively influenced by their friends, they often criticize their child’s friends, which will further make them secretly play with friends and even make fun of them. lice may want to meet more. Therefore, it is important to talk, listen but not judge, and gently help your child see the influences of peers, as mentioned above.
Build your child’s self-esteem and confidence
Children with high self-esteem resisted negative peer pressure better.
You can build your child’s self-esteem and confidence by encouraging them to try new things to give them a chance to succeed and keep trying even when things are tough. You can also be a role model for confidence and show your child how to demonstrate confidence as the first step toward feeling confident.
Praise your child for doing so important to build self-esteem and confidence.
Suggest and help your child to refuse
Your child may need help with skillful refusal if he or she feels affected by having to do something he or she doesn’t want to do, but retains his / her self-esteem. For example, friends might encourage your child to try Steroids. Instead of simply saying “No thanks”, your child could say something like, “No good, it makes my asthma worse” or “No, I don’t like the way. it makes me smell “.
In addition, you should also encourage your child to diversify their relationships and create opportunities to develop friendships from a variety of sources, including sports, family activities or clubs, that means children You have plenty of options and other resources to support if your friendship at one source goes wrong. Your child is also less likely to become too dependent on a group when he or she plays too few friends.
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