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How to overcome peer pressure

by adminV
Ifeoluwa Dada

Teenage life is full of adventure!

Segun wants to try out every stunt he saw on TV the other day
and Ada wants a dress that is similar to the regalia she saw on her favourite
actress in the fashion magazine. Musa will question just about every
instruction Mum gives and Emeka, at 18, won’t share the bed with Chika; he is
in his own words a ‘big boy’. In fact, Emeka is on Daddy’s neck for permission
to take over the guest`s room that seems vacant while his younger siblings
cohabit in the children room. This is Teenage-hood.

Without
doubt, every adult once crossed the bridge of being a teen. O yes, Dad and Mum
went through it too. We all belong to one peer (age) group or the other. An age
group consist of people who are roughly of the same age. Your classmates,
playmates are examples of peer groups.
As human, we are beings of interactions, we have to relate with
others whether consciously or unconsciously, somehow we get influenced by those
we interact with, so much that the influences become pressure and standard for
our conducts.
Peer pressure
is real, especially among teens. In the making of this piece, I spoke with 10
teenagers who confessed to be indulged in at least three social vices, eight
among the 10 disclosed that they got into the acts through a friend’s influence.
Now that’s peer pressure, isn’t it?
Teenagers and young adults have sustained higher crime rates
than other groups for as long as studies have been conducted. According to
Frank and Margaret Anderson, FBI statistics indicate that people under 15 made
up 5.2 per cent of the total police arrests in 1989, people under 18
constituted nearly 18 per cent of the arrests, those under 21 accounted for
about 30 per cent. A much recent report by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC)
for 2010 revealed that juveniles under 18 accounted for 13.7 per cent of all
violent crime arrest and 22.5 per cent of all property crime arrests. 2198
arrested for forcible rape while 35001 juveniles were arrested for aggravated
assault.
Now how can Jack overcome peer pressure as a teen?
One of the
most identifiable social problems among humans, especially teenage group is
that of failure of true identity. The innocent child grew into teenage-hood in
a society that gave him a false description of himself. The question of who you
are must be clearly and rightly answered if a teenager will ever overcome
negative peer pressure, what do you want for your life? What future are you
heading for? How committed are you to getting there? What can you do? What are
your abilities? How will you get there? Will drugs enhance your progress in
your pursuit in life? Jack’s failure to answer these questions is why he thinks
he is like every other guy on the street and is the chief reason he is willing
to oblige to the street-flow.
Next is to
commit to developing the mind. The mind is the base of human conducts; people
behave the way they know how to. Teenagers must open themselves to godly and
goodly knowledge. Parenting has a great responsibility if the I society will
have sound teenagers. Parental responsibilities should not be left for social
media, print or electronic media. But if parents chose to fail in this regard,
Jack must chose not to. He is the biggest stakeholder in the game here and so
he must insist on being well even if the home is bad. If Jack won’t act like
the truant on Crossroads, he then mustn’t think like him; if he is not going to
think like him, he (Jack) definitely mustn’t feed his mind on junks like he
does.
It’s a demanding
task, a very demanding one, but easy enough for to achieve. Just start by
building a library of quality audio, video and printed materials. Read, listen
and watch quality and in no time the temptation from the other side won’t be
appealing. When the mind is filled with right content, personal values fall in
place too and that’s the mind equipped to overcome negative peer pressure.
Jack must
also learn to choose the peer. I mean your circle of friends. Who do you spend
time with? What do you gist and jest on in your hangouts? Teenage must
deliberately choose a circle of right persons as friends. You must make it an
exclusive group. Emotional sentiment often makes teenagers hold on to toxic
persons, thus, making right parenting necessary to guide and guard. You can’t
afford to give dummies access into your life, you are not for everybody and everybody
isn’t meant to be in your circle. Take it personal. Yes, be selfish about it,
if Wayne is toxic, then he doesn’t deserve a place in your circle, rather
hangout with mellow Mike.
Think about
the consequences. What does s3x offer you at this stage of your life? What will
be the aftermath effect of it? To get Jane pregnant and become the youngest
daddy around while in high school or get infected with s3xual transmitted
disease? Does the possibility of stepping out with gonorrhoea or HIV excite
you? Have you thought about how bad smoking is for your health, including the
risk of lungs disease, heart disease, and cancer? What does marijuana enhance
you for, potential insanity? Is that what you want for your life? Will
‘gangsterism’ get you an A grade or get you in jail? Learning to stand up for
yourself, including your beliefs, values and look ahead to the consequences of
your actions are important steps in becoming a responsible adult.
Everyone has
a desire to fall into a group. So, it’s no problem to want ‘to belong’ but you
have to choose to belong right. As Dan Brennan sights it “if you are active in
sports, your teammates probably pressure you to be the best you can be. If you
are on the track team, you pace yourself with the fastest runner, because you
know it will make you better. If you are striving for good grades, you compare
your scores to those at the top of the list. If you are in the band, and there
are musicians better than you, you are pressured into striving to be the best
musician you can be.” It is your choice to make, peer pressure can be positive,
only if you make it so.

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