“If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?”
Ah, the immortal words used by parents everywhere when trying to explain the negative effect of peer pressure on teenagers. At least, that was the phrase used back in my day. When we wore hoops under our dresses and tied our bonnets on with ribbons.
I’m kidding obviously. Because no, I am not quite old enough to actually have lived in the Ye Olden Days. Despite what my kids might think. Although some days, days like today, it really does feel like a lifetime ago since I was a teenager and my dad was saying those words to me.
This isn’t Alison – but we’re sure this is how it went down.
Though today it is my turn to be the one having the talk. The talk about why yes, friends are important and yes, I know we all want to fit in. But sometimes, peer pressure can lead us down a path we really don’t want to go, or know we shouldn’t. So a teenager needs to have some tricks up her sleeve to cope with the pressure. I figure the time has come for my girl to learn some of those tricks. I also figure that while I have her captive in the car with me, as I drive her from school to her swimming session, is going to be the best time to grab her attention.
I’ve done some reading up before having this chat. I looked on the Kids Helpline website, and the excellent ReachOut website.
One thing that hadn’t occurred to me before was that peer pressure isn’t always a bad thing. With the right group of friends, peer pressure can help a teenager find their place in the world, and encourage good habits.