“Hey guys who feels like me? This teacher is so old and tired; all he thinks about in his head is math! Let us boycott class and go relax outside. After all what can he do to us? My father cannot turn against me.”
How many of us know someone like this? These are words from a spoilt kid trying to influence others to rebel.
Children need to learn to make wise decisions at an early age. Making decisions on your own is hard enough, but when other people get involved and try to pressure you into deciding one way or another, it becomes harder.
People your age, like your classmates, are called peers. When they try to influence how you act, to get you to do something, it’s called peer pressure.
Peer pressure can be good or bad depending on whether you make right or wrong choices. This is something everyone has to deal with - even adults.
We all come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs depending on the way we have been brought up. Since we all have friends at school, some friends usually form groups and want everyone to act the same way, do the same things in order to fit in.
If what you are doing is correct and you are not breaking school rules, then you have good peer pressure. If not, and your group does bad things, then it is a bad peer group which you should leave.
Children who lack confidence and have a low self esteem are easily influenced to do wrong when they do not want to. At an early age, children should think of themselves as leaders.
The more you see yourself as a leader the more comfortable you will feel to make right decisions and say no to anything that is wrong.
Some people may not like it when you go against the group but doing the right thing is rewarding.
If your peers are advising you to join an after class discussion group to do your homework, then this is positive peer pressure. Friends who advise you to attend extracurricular activities instead of hiding in the fields or those who advise you to attend church on Sundays or the Mosque on Fridays, then these are good friends.