Peer pressure is a powerful force and can be a great motivator. It can also be dangerous and lead to bad decisions. The key is to have the right kind of peer pressure.
The best kinds of peer pressure are positive ones. Peer pressure that encourages you to do something good for others or for yourself can be very effective. For example, if you want to go out on Friday night with your friends, but your parents don’t want you to go out at night, you could ask them if it’s alright for you to spend time with your friends instead—and they might say yes!
Until now we’ve only heard of peer pressure as something negative and destructive. However, the truth is, many recent researchers have concluded that peer pressure can be positive as well and that in certain conditions peer pressure can inspire a teenager to be more productive and determined.
Students have a tendency to follow the crowd. Usually, it is the peer pressure that leads them to start negative as well as positive things. It’s like the old saying: “Don’t do what I do, do what I say.” That is, if you see your friends doing something, and it seems like it might be fun and easy, but you don’t think it’s something that’s right for you, then maybe they’re right—maybe it IS something that’s right for them!
Ways positive peer pressure can help students reflect on themselves:
- Students who are encouraged to play and participate in school activities are less likely to experience depression and anxiety.
- Students who feel supported by their teachers, peers, and family members are more likely to succeed in school.
- Students who receive positive feedback from teachers, parents, and other adults are more likely to have a positive view of themselves as students and adults.
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