One of the key aspects of teen years is that adolescents may try to develop their self-identity for which they take cues from several sources, the main among them being social environment. So, these teens give a lot of importance to social interaction and developing good social skills. In short, teens focus more on acceptability by others and especially, by their peers. However this can sometimes lead to teen depression.
How Peer Pressure Affects Teens
Though peer pressure is a problem faced by people of all age groups, teens may find this highly stressful because they are still children and they may not know how to handle it. But, they have started thinking that they know everything because they are not far away from adulthood. At the same time, there are many occasions when they seek the help of parents and other close relatives and friends for making vital decisions. Further, teens keep watching how their parents and other elders try to conform to the standards set by others and so, they also try to conform to the standards set by their peers.
Peer Pressure And Teen Depression
But the unfortunate fact is that parents and others do not recognize the power of the peer pressure faced by their teens. This negatively impacts the performances of these young people and when they are not able to withstand peer pressure, they are affected by teen depression. Some of them start experimenting with smoking, consuming alcohol or drugs, etc. to show that they can also be like some of their peers.
Teens spend more time with their friends or peers and less time with their families. So, peers influence them a lot. That is the reason parents are advised to check the friends of their young ones. Good friends can turn out to be role models and can positively influence these young people because these teens give more importance to the feelings as well as thoughts of their peers.
Peer Pressure And Risk-Taking Behavior
There are a number of teens who take to risk-taking behavior because they want to prove their identity. But, when they begin experimenting with habits like consuming alcohol and drugs, smoking, sexual activities, defiance, etc. due to peer pressure, their lives are put to jeopardy. These habits may become the root cause of a vicious cycle that consists of teen depression and more indulgence in these habits. These teens may have very low self-esteem for hiding which they may act defiantly. Their performances in education and other school-related activities will dip. In short, they may have all the symptoms of teen depression.
Therefore, parents and teachers should ensure that there is positive pressure from peers. Though most of the parents think that their teens do not heed their advice, the reality is that teens are greatly influenced by their parents.
Parents should be role models to their teens because children learn mainly from them. So, parents should constantly communicate with their children. This does not mean that they should be authoritative with them. They should be kind and should listen sincerely and attentively to what their teens speak. They should spend more time with their teens. But they should never criticize them and put them to shame. Though they should monitor their activities, they should not do what is called “policing.”
If parents have strong self-esteem, their teens will automatically learn all the ways to have strong self-esteem too. Parents should also guide them and when there are pressure situations due to their peers, they can role-play also.
Very importantly, parents should be honest with their children. If they utter something, they should follow through. They should educate their teens about the ill-effects of smoking, drinking, drugs, etc. Parents should never talk ill about others and very importantly about the friends of their teens because these young ones may consider this as a personal attack.
Parents should make their teens understand that there are huge differences between what is called “image” and “identity”.If parents help their young ones deal with their peer pressure appropriately, there are absolutely no chances of affliction by problems like teen depression.