A peer group is a social group consisting of people who are equal in such respects as age, education or social class. These people usually share a common interest and background. They can also be very diverse, with people from different social and economic backgrounds, race, culture, etc. Peer relationships provide a unique context for social and emotional development of a person enhancing persons’ reasoning abilities, concern for others, cooperating with people. Modern research echoes these sentiments, showing that social and emotional gains are indeed provided by peer interaction.
The main problem is the PEER PRESSURE. Peer pressure refers to the influence exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms. In simple words, it means being pushed over by friends to do something which you would not do otherwise.
- Adolescence is an age when teenagers try to create an identity for themselves. They have a desperate need to belong to a group and thus, often end up becoming a soft target for peer pressure. Bad advice, curiosity to try something that everyone else is indulging in or just the fear of being teased by friends (for not doing what others are doing) lead teens to do things they would rather not do, if left to their better judgment. His behavior as well as his perception about life depends much on how these peers affect him.
- At adolescence, peer relations become the core of a person's life. Teenagers want to socialize as much as they can and have fun with their peers, rather than spending time with their families. They seem to prefer their friends and classmates for close relations. The result is that there are frequent conflicts and disagreements between teens and their parents. They tend to maintain distance from their parents and eventually, lose all the emotional closeness and warmth that was once there between them.
- Avoid situations where activities that make you feel uncomfortable may take place.
- Get involved in activities like sports or a social club at college - experience interacting with others on a positive level. You will notice that you actually lessen peer pressure if you are involved with other teens who possess the same boundaries, ethics and interests as you do.
- Use good Humor to get out of sticky situations and overcome peer pressure.
- Confide in your parents, teachers or counselors - they are your first line of defense. It’s amazing how you can get out of tough situation just by telling one of them. They can help you ask the right questions and help you find what’s really bugging you.
- Know your worth- remember you are God’s creation and you are created unique with your identity. No two people are alike, even identical twins are not the same - fingerprints, thoughts temperament differ. You do not have to be someone else. You can just be you. Develop self confidence in yourself.