A peer group is a group of people with mostly the same age and social life. Peer pressure is the influence of individuals by their peers, mostly the teens. Peer influence changes people’s attitudes and behaviors. Peer influence can be positive or negative in a teen’s life.
In most cases, people of the same age walk and do their activities together. Doing activities together can influence a child positively. For example, if a child is walking with an age mate who likes involving in community events the child will start doing the community work. In doing community work, a child will gain life skills, such as being sociable and working as a group to achieve success. The life skills learned in doing community work can enhance an individual’s experience in real life. The skills can help a lot in choosing a right career in life.
Students are of diverse characters. A child walking with a fellow who is taking academic work seriously is highly expected to take his/her academic work serious under normal circumstances. By taking academic work seriously, the school performance of the group is projected to improve. The quality of education in most cases influences the kind of job one will have in future. Therefore peer pressure can result in people landing jobs of their dreams.
Teens doing similar activities may help each other develop physically. Teens have a lot of free time; they can always use the time to involve in school and community football teams. These groups can help teens grow up physically healthy.
Teens walking and doing things together occasionally become creative. Since the group plays together, watches similar TV programs and does other things together, one creative member of the group can instill creativity to other members. The members of the group with their creativity can transform both their lives and the people around them.
Peer pressure can help some individuals learn proper behaviors. Behaviors are strongly influenced by the environment a person is living. If for example one member of a peer group has bad morals and the rest of the members have good morals, then that individual will have to learn good morals to fit in the group. Good morals result in individuals with significant values to the community hence better people in the society.
Peer influence is good but at times has a negative impact on an individual’s development. Teens lacking self-esteem can be influenced to do wrong things by their mates. Lack of self-esteem makes teens weak to fall into idle behaviors of their fellows. Teens in such circumstance can end up misusing drugs and finally get involved in criminal activities. The role of a school, parent and by extension the community is to bring up a morally upright person. A teen deviating from good activities due to peer influence is disheartening to the school, parent, and the community.
Lack of friends to keep a teen company at free times can influence a teen into bad friendship. A teen can start doing negative things to fit into a group of bad friends. A teen can start smoking, drinking alcohol and practicing dangerous sexual behaviors to fit in a group. All these harmful activities can result in bad health and deterioration in the thinking capacity of an individual. Poor teens’ health results in early death; this eventually reduces the life expectancy of human beings. The society also loses the productive age group.
Peer pressure influences teens at homes and schools. The teens must learn to be themselves to choose what is right for them. The parents can guard their children in the choice of the right peer group. Schools can also try teaching good morals to ensure teens are brought up in a morally upright way.