Peer Pressure - Advice for my children

For My Children - Peer Pressure

This may seem long, but what are a few paragraphs from your Father compared to a book? Give me ten minutes; I'll give you your life...

You don't have to rebel against your parents to prove who you are. You are allowed to make mistakes, but understand the difference between a bad day and a bad life. You will never hear an approving word about an action about something that hurts you or someone else, but you will not hear disapproval because you are not perfect. Nobody is perfect.

You will feel every temptation that a human can feel. Just because I am concerned about you doesn't mean you will not be lured by someone or yourself into things that you might regret. It's strange, but many things in life that feel good will come back to haunt you later. That's what you need to understand. You will not break new ground when it comes to sin. It's all been done. The sad thing is that everybody has that moment in life when they realize the things they did were because they were trying to be an adult, when in fact they were acting the complete opposite. To do something because "you're not supposed to" is the act of an immature person. An adult has nothing to prove and most likely has the abllity to pay for his own mistakes. To assume your parents will bail you out means you are still a child. The "bad" act does not make you an adult. The ability to say no or the ability AND desire to solve your own problem are signs of being an adult.

One of the difficulties of life is that so many people you encounter will try to lead you astray. When I think about it, nobody said, "Hey Mark, let's go to church on Sunday." It didn't happen like that for me. It had to come from within. You can't assume that someone is going to reach you. You have to decide what you are going to be about. You may think that you only hear what you shouldn't do from the adults when in fact you are probably really hearing what you shouldn't do from your friends. Except instead of saying no, they are saying yes. And when you are young, your friends have more influence than your parents or your teachers. That's because you live in the world of your friends. They are reality to you while the adults are only seen as obstacles to your own desires. I understand the pressure of being cool or being accepted by your friends because as a child, you really don't have the option of just hanging out with the adults all the time. We tell you how to live and then leave you to live with our words in your world.

There is an old saying: "You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything." What do you stand for? Who do you listen to? Do you have any thoughts or beliefs of your own or do you just wait for one of your friends who seems to be popular to define who you are?

Here's another thing to watch for: "A true friend won't threaten to NOT be your friend unless you do what they say." A true friend only wants what is best for you. I was pressured by so many children long ago to do things that I knew were wrong and guess what? None of them are around today. They all have their own lives. But, I have mine and I have to live with whatever decision I made when they were pressuring me. I have to live with it. Not them. Me. That's because the decision was mine; not theirs. So, don't do what someone else wants because it's the easy thing to do at that moment; UNLESS IT'S THE RIGHT THING.

That is all in the past for me; but it is in your future. Always remember the future because it is the only thing you can impact today. There is nothing you can do about yesterday. But, if too many "bad" yesterday's pile up, then you will live a life of climbing out of the hole that you dug for yourself.

I've been around the two of you long enough to know you have kind hearts and sharp minds. They are unpoisoned. The poison of wrong thinking or cruel actions are going to be offered to you every day and it will be up to you to recognize this and make the decision if you are going to eat it or not. I have great hopes and faith in both of you, but I can't live your life for you. That is for you. You don't have to live your life for me... "to make me proud." I don't want you to live with that kind of pressure. All I want is to somehow make you understand how much power you have to influence yourself. Be yourself. Be strong. Being a man or woman doesn't mean proving you can do the wrong thing; it means you can do the right thing even if everyone else says don't do it. That is your challenge. What do you want? To be an adult or a child? It's your decision...

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Comments 19 comments

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 6 years ago

This is great, will you write to give them this advice?


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

I've given this one to my son and will someday give it to my daughter; she's six but he's in the 8th grade and is on the precipice of temptation....


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 6 years ago from New Jersey

All great advice. I was told that poetry didn't do well on Hubpages, but it's what I prefer to write. I am seeing more, and after reading yours am going to write more for hubpages. Thanks.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Thank you Jean,

I hope my kids can take some of this to heart but it's tough at their age to be strong.

As for posting here I guess it depends why you are here... I am not here for the money... I think this is a more commercial site but what it has done for me is hone my skills. I have been writing like crazy and I hope to find other sites in the future for what I do not know but I have a dream about becoming a song writer (and a poet) for a living (or at least for a 2nd income)... but for now I am very fulfilled here... there is a great group of folks who love to read and comment....


azure_sky profile image

azure_sky 5 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

Your children are very fortunate to have a Dad that remembers his teenaged years and all of the temptations that were faced at that age, and aid to guide them through those tumultuous times, instead of preach at them. Well done!!!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@azure_sky - thank you for two reasons. 1) you're just a nice person for saying these things 2) I found an incomplete sentence so I fixed it!

I read this to them but my son was sort of rolling his eyes and my daughter was a tad confused but I think she got it....


azure_sky profile image

azure_sky 5 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

I am also known as Ms. Blunt....so when I praise, it is well-deserved. Get use to the eye-rolling...that tends to stay around past their teen years :)


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@azure - yeah I'm figuring those rolling eyes will be a part of my life from now on...

hmmmmm.... rolling eyes.....


truebluewriter profile image

truebluewriter 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

This was really nice.

Your children are lucky to have someone as understanding as you. If only every parent could say "I have great hopes and faith in both of you, but I can't live your life for you. That is for you. You don't have to live your life for me... "to make me proud." I don't want you to live with that kind of pressure" to their children the world would be perfect, at least in my opinion. Overly pressuring children can cause them to become destructively depressed when they fail. Especially the achiever types; it is sad to see them become so depressed over things that are so trivial.

It must have been really awkward though reading this to your children hehe. But I'm sure this will become a good memory for them when they reminisce about their childhood.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@truebluewriter - thank you for reading. It was a bit awkward reading it to them because they probably were wondering what it is I did in high school... "oh nothing.. I was a perfect person..." Ha...


ExpandYourMind profile image

ExpandYourMind 5 years ago from Midwest USA

Great advice for all parents to convey. Don't we all learn as we age, how wise our parent's advice was or is? Thanks for writing this.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@EcpandYourMind - thank you for commenting... and that is true what you said about how wise our parents were...


Grace_4_All 5 years ago

When have your children ever asked you or wanted you to live their lives for them? What do you mean when you say that? Do you give them any credit for having made decisions and accomplished things? They did that, not you. They've felt their feelings themselves. You haven't felt that FOR them. I find it insulting when my mother says "I can't live your life for you". She doesn't want to hear anything bad that goes on in my life at all. When ever I mention a pain I'm experiencing, she says to me. I never want or ask for her advice or to do anything but convey she Cares. When she says "I can't live your life for you"... where does that come from? What is the message there to a child? It means, "go away", "don't bother me", "Our liveis are separate, not together". What then, does family mean any more? Is it simple something of the past? What do your children mean to you? For me, those words, "I can't live your life for you" are hurtful and callous. It tells a child you don't believe they've taken ownership of their own lives. Of course they have. You haven't given them credit for it.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Grace_4_All - if you don't understand my point then that's fine. I'm talking about taking charge of their own lives but I don't treat them as you describe (your relationship with your mother). So I must say you are wrong that I am saying go away... who are you by the way? I don't like a negative post made in anonymity... you are very judgemental..... yet you say you are about grace... interesting....


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Grace_4_all - I've decided to explain one thing to you: when I say I cannot live their life for them I mean in the context of them being alone with their peers. I give them advice and comfort but then as I said, they have to take my words and somehow manage their life because I'm not around all the time. It is a comment that emphasizes their need to gain strength for themselves. It is a message about being honest and courageous in the face of temptation. I cannot be there all the time....


ChristianRecca profile image

ChristianRecca 5 years ago from Rutherford, NJ

Ah, as a 25-year old who has made his share of mistakes, this reminds me of things my father used to say to me. I think we all have to really make our own mistakes, but certainly there are degrees, and I hope your kids take your advice to heart and minimize the mistakes they make.


coexist73 profile image

coexist73 5 years ago from Muskegon, Michigan

wonderful hub, it reminds me of my dad. Because he was both blatently honest and incredibly understanding about the ups and downs of growing up, i respected him a great deal. Knowing how much he could still identify with what i was going through made me want to ensure i didnt dissapoint him that much more. My dad handed me nothing but taught me everything, Im lucky to have a dad like mine, and your kids are lucky to have you. I have faith that if you maintain this approach to their upbringing you will be able to have strong relationships with both of them throughout even the toughest years of their lives.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Christian - No doubt we have to learn the hard way for it to stick. I just hope that they realize at an early age that they can be influenced away from something they love by people who will be gone from their life in the not too distant future. It's a matter of finding your heart's desire and try not to make any permanent mistakes. I know I made plenty of mistakes when I grew up because I wanted to be popular....


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@coexist - Sounds like you had a great Dad. I do try to remember how things are as a child and not be one of those parents who acts like it's easy to just say no or go against the crowd. I try to show them I understand the pressures they face. I think all this poetry writing I've undertaken in the past four years or so has transformed my mind into a person who doesn't care what others think; not in the screw you sense but in the "this is who I am and I'm not worried about what you think" snese. It's a tricky thing to explain how to be independent but still caring about the right things in terms of not hurting yourself and others. In other words, stand alone if necessary but don't be arrogant or intransigent as an ego-indulgence. I hope they get it but they know I'm different than other Dads. I think they are figuring that out and in fact I believe they are gathering strength from it. I feel they are drawn to me because of that.

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