Peer Pressure: Teenagers of Today
Dealing with outside influences
Parents of today have a much harder time in disciplining, monitoring, and protecting their children. Once children reach their teens, it becomes an even bigger endeavor. There are so many variables which attributes to the struggle of monitoring and protecting them. We can only hope by communicating, setting rules, and creating positve role models for them, we can outweigh all of those outside influences.
The number one influence is peers. This is one of the biggest factors. Teens want to fit in. Therefore, some of them will make the wrong choices, in order to do so. They have the pressure to pick on others. One can only hope that a parent's influence to be a leader and not a follower will prevail. We have to hope our teachings of 'how would this make you feel?' will stick in the back of their mind.
Peer Pressure continued
Not only will other teens bully, but they try to influence in other ways. Some may try to get your teen to experiment with drugs. Teens will pressure other teens concerning issues such as sex, stealing, shoplifting, and so many other things. This is definitely why, as a parent, you must communicate. Always keep the lines of communication open.
Surfing the Internet and Social Networking
Surfing the web has a tremoudous influence on teenagers today. The internet is not always a teen friendly place to be. They are going through so many changes in their body and life. They have questions, they may not feel comfortable asking their parents. Therefore, they search for answers on their own. In order, to control the web pages they visit, you may want to learn more about setting parental controls on their computer, through the internet provider, or protection software on the computer. It's best to keep the communication open between you, as the parent, and your teen. Don't dance around those topics that everyone hates to approach. Be upfront and honest about sex, drug use, and peer pressure. If you don't someone will, so wouldn't you rather have the information come from you, rather than the internet. We all know what is in that vast world of knowledge, good and BAD.
Besides surfing for information, you have chat rooms. Talk to your teens about the importance of being careful as to who they are talking to while in the chat room. Explain they could be talking to an adult, claiming to be a teen their own age. Set clear expectations of not giving out personal information to anyone on the internet. Enlighten them to the dangers of predators, preying on their emotions and feelings. They want to exploit the teen in order to gain confidence and take advantage of the situation.
Social networking through xbox live is very common among teens and adults alike. All the characteristics of chat rooms on the net with additional bells and whistles. The gaming experience of multi-player and taunting your peers. Set firm expectations with this gaming experience, and ensure your teen adheres to them. Gaming can become an addiction. The taunting can be construed as bullying. This virtual world has predators hiding behind the gaming, just as you will find on the net.
Cell phone usage and texting is a favorite communication with teens today. A cell phone takes pictures and has access to the web, as well. They are a multi-tasking tool in a teen's world today. A cell phone has all of the issues previously mentioned rolled into one huge outside influence. It all comes down to setting ground rules, and expectations with our teen. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate with your teen.
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