Why are teenagers so easily susceptible to peer pressure? Well, just like adults teens are influenced by their peer group. As adults we conform to the social standards set by our peer groups—people we like to associate with. And we associate with certain people for a variety of reasons. Often times we share a history with a person, or they have the same views as us, same likes and dislikes, or similar personalities. Therefore, it is quite normal for our teens to model are behavior. However, the flip side of this is when teens begin to follow their peers who are “acting out” and doing things that are not appropriate, even when they know better.
Parents don’t panic. Part of the reason your teen is suddenly breaking rules and hanging out with that fast-talking girl or slick boy is merely due to wanting acceptance and the ‘newly found’ importance of friendships. With new budding friendships comes curiosity, attraction, and the simple fact that teens love it when someone takes an interest in what they have to say. Teens like to feel secure with themselves, and often times this feeling is strengthened when they are amongst their friends.
Of course there will be times when your teen will not use his or her better judgment and be sucked into peer pressure, but that’s just part of the growing process from adolescence to adulthood.
Parents, remember this: If you instilled good values in your teen since they first learned to grasp the concept of what’s good and what’s bad, these values will make it through the trials of adolescence and into his or her adulthood.
Deborah Copeland is the author of The Kids at Latimar High, an amazon.com best-seller. She is also a foster-mother of three tenacious teens, and have worked as a Social worker and mentor.