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Peer Pressure
by Alyssa Avant
08/14/07
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Peer pressure is something many teens struggle with as they head back to school. It might influence something simple such as what style of shoes that they choose to wear, but it can be more serious as well. Peer pressure has an influence on the lives of teens in many areas, from sexual practices to drinking. Choosing to not give in and rather to abstain from these activities is often difficult for them.
When a teen is attempting to make a decision regarding what to do in any given situation they like most humans, you would think would use logical reasoning and weight the pros and cons. You would also think that they would think of how their decision might influence others around them such as their parents and their peers, however this is not true. Teens on the other hand are very egocentric, or self-centered, with their thinking, they do not seem to care about how their decisions will influence others, and as a result only care about themselves, or that is how it seems.
Teens also think in a way which psychologists call “magical thinking” this is the “it will never happen to me” type thinking. Therefore, they do not think that anything bad can happen to them, therefore they succumb to peer pressure and as a result may make negative choices, such as choosing to drive too fast, or to drink a beer or two, or to go to far sexually with a person of the opposite sex. They do not think that the negative consequences can follow because in their minds, that “can never happen to them”. So, they do not even consider the consequences such as wrecking, harm to themselves or others, or pregnancy.
Parents often find it difficult to deal with teens and their skewed ways of thinking. It is often also difficult for parents to teach their teens the valuable art of saying no. However, at such an important time in a teen’s life their parents influence is so important to combat that influence of their peers. After all, it is still true that parents have the greatest influence on their teens over every other group of people in a teen’s life. Therefore, parents take your role seriously and look for ways to make saying “no” easier on your teen.



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