FOCUS : Avoid peer pressure: stand up for moral behaviour

Peer pressure is literally the pressure from one’s peers to behave like them or in a manner that is acceptable to them. It can be a negative force in the lives of children, often resulting in acts of violence, experimenting with illegal drugs and alcohol, extreme clothing and hair styles and body piercing. Many people don’t have a clear reason for doing what they do.

Peer pressure is literally the pressure from one’s peers to behave like them or in a manner that is acceptable to them. It can be a negative force in the lives of children, often resulting in acts of violence, experimenting with illegal drugs and alcohol, extreme clothing and hair styles and body piercing. Many people don’t have a clear reason for doing what they do.

They simply do it because of peer pressure.  Some people fall victim to peer pressure because they want to fit in. They want to have the sense of belonging to a certain group and don’t want to be the odd ones out.

They therefore just follow the crowd and dress, drink and behave like everybody else. They do anything possible so that they be liked and appreciated by their peers.

This is mostly evident in the adolescents where an individual has identity crisis.

Heads of boarding Secondary schools have a torrid time trying to control these teenagers.  Jane Uwase, a psychologist and sociology teacher says that the adolescent stage is the most crucial stage an individual undergoes in the process of growth. “It is a make or break stage for a person” she says.

“During this stage, an individual has an identity crisis because he is unsure of himself and what he wants in life.

One can fall for anything.” Uwase adds Curiosity also causes peer pressure. Somebody may say “Everyone is doing it.”

As a result, you might think it is a good thing. This kind of person will give in to peer pressure and behave like everyone else.

He won’t care about his personal values as long as he gets to feel what everybody is feeling.

“Whatever the conditions are, pay attention to your own feelings,” Uwase advises. “Always develop your self-confidence and inner strength.

These two traits will help you stand firm, and walk away from peer pressure. Know what you stand for. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

The psychologist says.  Peer pressure usually comes from people with very strong personalities. Since their personalities are strong, they tend to impose their beliefs and ideas on other people easily.

Thus, you need to stay strong for what you believe is right.  Many people think that saying yes to everybody will make them more likeable. Saying yes every time does not necessarily make you a good friend.

People who are easily influenced by peer pressure are confused and unsure of themselves.

There might be a situational problem that you are unsure how to handle and if there is some pressure to try a quick fix method, you might be tempted to yield.

When you are confused about something, talk to a positive mentor, counsellor, teacher or parent. Get some wise counsel from people who are out to see you do well.  Look for friends with similar values as yours.

These are friends who will hold you accountable. Remember if you hang out with losers, you will end up being one. 

“There is need for parents or guardians and teachers to guide and advice their children about morals or else they might end up being victims of peer pressure and drug abuse hence end up being rebels.” Uwase concludes.

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