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Peer Pressure

            Every one of us has been in a situation where we felt uncomfortable, whether we were pressured into it or did it because "everyone else was doing it". As children grow older, they are faced with some challenging decisions. Some don't have a clear right or wrong answer, like should they join the student government or play football? Other decisions involve serious moral problems, like whether to stay out pass the curfew, skip class, smoke, drink, or lie to parents. Making decisions on your own is hard enough, but when other people get involved and try to force their ideas on you it can be even harder. At one point or another, everyone has to deal with peer pressure, even adults. Peer pressure occurs when a person looks up to a leader (dominant) peer. They use him/her as somebody who has all the answers.
             A peer is defined as a friend or acquaintance who is about the same age as you. Interaction between peers happens at school, church, during basketball practice. Peers influence each other's lives, whether they know it or not, just by spending time together. It's only human nature to listen to and learn from other people in the same age group.
             Peer pressure plays a major role in the harmful behavior of teens. Teens who want to fit in among their friends are most especially prone to this. They need friends and try to make friends as much as possible. Of these friends there are the good ones who give them the knowledge and information they need and there are the ones who give them information about things that are not so good, like drugs, alcohol, parties, etc. This influential communication between a teen and his/her peer may be directly or indirectly. Direct- such as conversations with their friends, or indirect- such as listening to classmates discussing of a party which occurred a night before, mention alcohol, drugs and violence. If a teen can not resist this kind of a temptation they will begin to act the way "cool kids" do cause harm to themselves and others.

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