02
Nov
09

Peer-Pressure-Parenting

Teenagers are notorious for giving in to peer pressure.   They’ve been known to try or abuse drugs, have sex, be part of a crime, and various other things just so they can avoid feeling embarrassment and/or rejection.

Although, teens aren’t the only ones prone to peer pressure? Have you ever heard of peer-pressure-parenting?

Let me give you an example of what peer-pressure-parenting looks like:  Brittany wants to go to a lock-in that is taking place at her junior high school, but you really don’t want her to go since you don’t feel that anything good ever comes out of 250 12-14 year olds staying up all night and there aren’t enough chaperone’s in the world that can control all those hormones.  However, Brittany says, “But mom, Cindy’s parents are letting her go…”  You think for a moment.  You tell yourself that since you really like Cindy because she’s a good girl, her parents must know what they’re doing so you let Brittany go even though it goes against everything you feel is right.  Why did you do this?

Here’s another example:  John got a cell phone a recently and you warned him that you put limit on the amount of texts he’s allowed to send or receive each month.  You explained this limit was due to the fact that you don’t believe that texting should be the main source of communication and he could use his voice to communicate like they did in the “old” days.  With each new bill come added charges due to text-overage fees.  You talk to John about it but the problem reappears the next month.  Aggravated over the whole ordeal, you talk to your friend about it and she tells you that “all” the kids are texting these days and she just goes with the unlimited plan to avoid the extra charges.  Even though unlimited texting does not line up with your beliefs, you give in since “everyone else is doing it.”

Does this sound familiar?  If so, then you have fallen prey to peer-pressure-parenting.    If you have given in where you feel you shouldn’t have, have a talk with your teen.  Explain how you gave in when you felt you shouldn’t have and how you have to make things right… explain how you have to stand up for what you believe in if you can ever expect them to.   You might be surprised at how well this is received.

Remember:  We all know that no one has all the answers and it’s certainly OK to seek advice from other parents for suggestions on solving common parenting dilemmas.  However, the final choice you make must be the right choice for you and your teenager and if that means you have to take a stand where others aren’t, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed in any way.  After all, as parents, we must lead by example, and if we can’t do that, how can we ever expect our children to?

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