7 Obvious Signs Your Teen is Suffering From Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is something that is increasingly commonplace among young people and often it can have a major bearing on how they live their lives. Thanks to social media and improved communication networks, tweens and teens are in constant contact with peers. From updating statuses, looking at photos and instant messaging, children are linked to friends on a 24-hour basis, which has its advantages as well as its dangers.

Peer pressure is a problem that affects most youth to a degree. It can impact the way they dress, the choices they make, the music they listen to or the way they spend their time; but what happens when peer pressure takes its toll and how you can spot the signs of your child suffering under pressure from their friends? Here are 7 signs to look out for:

  1. Behavior changes. Look out for changes in your child’s behavior, especially when they are around certain groups of friends. Watch for the things they say, the way they act and the things they do; if they seem to change around certain people, this is a sign that they may feel under pressure to behave in a certain way.

  2. Feeling like they don’t fit in. If your teenager talks to you about feeling like they don’t fit in, this probably stems from the fact that they feel different in some way to their peers. The reality is that everyone is different, but during the teenage years especially, there is often a desire to fit into a certain mold and if you feel like you’re not part of the crowd, this can cause you to feel very isolated.

  3. Trying new things. Peer pressure often prompts youngsters to try new things, which aren’t always positive. Many teens admit to trying smoking and drinking alcohol long before they are legally allowed to and this is often the result of being goaded into it by others or to appear cool in front of friends. Look out for signs of drinking or the smell of cigarette smoke. Often, these things are part and parcel of growing up, but sometimes they can become the start of unhealthy habits and it’s best to nip problems in the bud if there is a likelihood that they may get worse. Drugs can also be a danger for teens experiencing peer pressure. You can talk to a London health expert to discuss your problems with drug abuse and the health dangers associated.

  4. Focus on image. One of the most obvious implications of peer pressure is an obsession with image; this may include the way a child dresses, the clothing they want to buy and the looks they want to copy. If you are suddenly being pestered to buy designer labels or your child wants to take control of their wardrobe and starts to buy things that you perhaps wouldn’t approve of, this is probably linked to pressure from peers and also wider pressure from society, which trickles down through social media and outlets such as magazines and television programs.

  5. Making comparisons. It’s human nature to compare yourself to others, but it can be very unhealthy and in younger people, it’s often a sign of peer pressure. Often, teens want to look thinner, taller, more tanned, have different colored hair, dress like so and so, all to please others and to fit in with an image, which is accepted by others. If you hear your teen saying they want what somebody else has got or they wished they looked like somebody else, these are tell-tale signs.

  6. Doing things you don’t want to do. Often, there’s a scenario when youngsters get into trouble and the excuse is ‘I didn’t want to do it’ or ‘they made me do it’ and the truth is that peer pressure can prompt people to do things that they don’t want to do. There’s often a fear of failure, a fear of looking weak or uncool and a dread of not fitting in with the popular crowd.

  7. Performance at school. If you have a high flier and grades suddenly drop, there is likely to be a cause and sometimes, this may be peer pressure. Often, intelligence is not seen as being very cool and kids who do make an effort to be attentive in class can be subjected to cruel jibes, which may affect their performance at school. Some may also make a conscious effort to do badly so that they fit in with others.

Although these are signs that can greatly indicate that your child is suffering from the effects of peer pressure, some kids suffering from the same issue may show subtler signs or no signs at all. Be sure that you know what your child is truly going through by employing the use of a tool like uKnowKids, which helps parents keep tabs on what's going on in their kids' digital lives. Find out if your kid is being pressured into doing or saying things they wouldn't otherwise. Identifying the issue is the first step parents can take to helping kids move past peer pressure.

Related Article: 6 Requirements for Managing Peer Pressure Among Kids/Teens

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