Many New Jersey adults say they wish they could turn back the hands of time to their teenage years. Others claim they’d never want to re-live their youth. Those in the latter group often cite tremendous negative peer pressure as a main deterrent in their lack of desire to be young again. Regardless to which category you belong, if you’re a parent of a child over the age of 12 but under age 21, you likely understand how challenging life can be for young people today.
There are many types of peer pressure. Some are actually positive, while others can not only negatively affect a young person’s emotional well-being, but can also lead to dangerous behaviors that may cause physical harm or result in trouble with the law. Understanding both types of pressure may help you provide tools for your child to overcome temptations associated with negative forms of influence within a circle of friends.
Opposites don’t always attract
When it comes to romance, studies show those with starkly different personalities are often attracted to each other. The same is definitely not so where peer pressure is concerned. Positive peer pressure can benefit your child, while negative forms of influence can steer him or her down a path that leads to destruction. The following peer pressure facts may arm you with information that can help your developing teen:
- Positive influences can be effective to encourage your child to work hard in school. For instance, children who surround themselves with friends who like to study and get good grades, are typically more inclined to do the same.
- Teens can push other teens to develop beneficial habits and skills.
- Positive peer pressure often helps build self-esteem and confidence.
- Negative pressure increases the risk for engaging in harmful behaviors.
- Feelings of loneliness and isolation are often driving forces in succumbing to negative peer pressure.
- The human brain contains components that actually strengthen and grow during adolescence to help teens resist peer-associated pressures.
Your child may be able to avoid trouble in an immediate circumstance simply by saying no to requests involving negative behaviors; however, it often requires lifestyle changes to completely distance oneself from negative influences. If your family is currently facing legal problems associated with negative peer pressure, you are certainly not the first to do so, and will not be the last. Like most New Jersey parents, you obviously want what’s best for your child; however, not everyone knows where to turn for help in times of trouble.
Receiving a call informing you that your child was arrested for drug possession or was charged with underage drinking and driving can turn an uneventful day into a living nightmare. By aligning yourself with an experienced defense attorney who understands the juvenile justice system as soon as possible, you may be able to help your child mitigate his or her particular circumstances and get life back on track.