This quarter, we explored our quarterly theme, Peer Pressure, by talking about confidence and choices, consequences of giving into peer pressure and the effect of teen cliques and back to school. Let’s take a look at some of the things we talked about.
Mentoring A Dream’s vision is to support parents, caring adults and mentors with resources to help their teens succeed. Each quarter we focus one of the challenges they face and provide some insight into how you can help them navigate them.
Let’s take a look at Peer Pressure. When it feels wrong, resist peer pressure
Teen Confidence and Peer Pressure
Your teen will build confidence on each decision that they make. Why not help them make good decisions? Those decisions will determine what happens on their life journey and how they allow the pressure of their peers to affect them.
In July’s teen challenge, we talked about how to resist peer pressure with good choices. There are three main sources that teens gather information from to help them make decisions,
- Their friends
- The adults in their lives
- The internet
We won’t always be around when our teens is faced with a hard decision to make, so the best thing we can do is to teach them the skills to make those decisions based on what is right for them. Helping them gain confidence in themselves and who they are will help them succeed.
Our featured author was Laurie Halse Anderson, who writes about tough subjects with humor and sensitivity . Her book, Speak, is about a thirteen year old girl who becomes mute after being sexually assaulted at an end of summer party. I was intrigued about how the story goes on to talk about how her peers shunned her for calling the police and having the party broken up.
For the peer pressure resource this month, we featured an article on VeryWellHealth.com by Michelle Pugle. In the article, Pugle says that resisting peer pressure is more about making our own choices despite what others may be pressuring us to do. One of the best ways to resist it is having confidence in the choices we are making. For teens, that will come with experience and learning from doing. Surrounding yourself with positive influences will also help resist peer pressure and help you to be happier in your life journey as well.
Consequences of giving into peer pressure
As we continue our journey into August, we focused on the consequences of giving into peer pressure. Making us do things we don’t normally do.
Our teen challenge talks about the question, what about giving into peer pressure? People tend to give into peer pressure to seek validation from our peers. Anxiety, stress and depression can creep in and affect the confidence we have in ourselves when we don’t feel accepted. That leads us to react by doing whatever we need to do to feel accepted.
Then our featured author was Jody Picoult. She writes about sensitive topics that can be controversial. In her book, In Nineteen Minutes, Picoult portrays both peer pressure and bullying through her characters. Josie Cormier is trying to fit into the popular crowd and does what it takes to be member, even if it means being mean to people and shunning classmates she used to call friends. Peter Houghton peers saw him as weird and different, so they picked on and bullied him.
And finally, we conclude the month with our quarterly featured resource, Center for Parent and Teen Communication. Their mission is to help parents raise teens who are prepared to thrive. They provide knowledge and skills to caring adults to promote positive youth development and foster strong family connections. I was intrigued by a section which was called For Teens which had many articles and tips which included thoughts from the teens’ perspective.
Teen Cliques and Back to School
To round out the quarter, being in the season of back to school, we talked about the peer pressure that teen cliques place on their peers. A clique is a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them. For teenagers, this could be a group of friends or teammates.
In our teen challenge, we talk about how teen cliques create peer pressure. One way that they do this is by labeling other classmates. These labels can either be positive and raise self esteem or they can be negative and impact the classmates self worth. Since teens are always trying to fit in and not stand out, how they are seen at school is very important.
How do we help them deal with these pressures? Teach your teen how important being kind to others is. And celebrate with them how important their unique set of traits and personality is.
Our featured author, Rosalind Wiseman, has written two great resources to help us understand our teens better. One for the young ladies, Queen Bees Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boys, and the New Realities of Girl World. It is a guide to crack the “girl code” and understand the powerful roles that cliques play in shaping adolescent girls’ lives. And one for the young men, Masterminds & Wingmen. It focuses on the Boys World, a place where asking for help or showing emotional pain often feels impossible. Each of these books provides insight into teens cliques and into many of the challenges our teens are facing.
What did you learn?
So, what did you learn through our resisting peer pressure journey this quarter? Did you pick up a few facts to discuss with your pre teen, teen or young adult? Because it is an important topic. Our teens want to be accepted so they will do whatever it takes. Hopefully they don’t lose themselves in the process. Please let me know in the comments what you took away from this quarter’s content.
Next quarter, we will be discussing bullying and bullying prevention. So, be sure to check back for more insight for you and your teen on this teen challenge.