Peer pressure is surely part of your everyday life as a teenager. As you try to find your identity and deal with the need to belong, you will face the constant struggle to conform to the group you interact with or want to be part of. However, not everyone you meet would be good for your growth process. The question that you may often ask is how to say no. Understandably, you do not want to be seen as weak or uncool. But does it mean that you have to agree to activities such as smoking, drinking, delinquent behavior or even premarital sex?
If you are a teenager, do not let yourself be bullied into doing anything that you know is not right and would be disapproved of by your parents. Other people might tease you or be angry with you initially but they will learn to respect you for being firm about your beliefs. Instead of being coerced by your peers, be an example on how they could have lives that are pleasing to God.
As a parent, how can you help your child face peer pressure? Let your children know where you (and they should) stand regarding issues such as smoking, drinking, drugs and sex. Teach them about the boundaries (for example, from Proverbs) and how to deal with uncomfortable situations firmly and gently. Providing a godly and loving home environment will also make them more secure about themselves and thus, they will be able to resist external pressures.
Decisions and actions of today have life-long consequences. Thus, choose your friends well and be wise about your actions. With God’s help, you can resist peer pressure and your testimony would make you a person of influence in other teenagers’ lives.
- Choose well your friends. Consider if they encourage and bring the best out of you.
- Be cautious of the influences of your peers. Do not be pressured to follow their vices and negative activities.
- Be firm in your beliefs and remember the advice of your parents and leaders.
- Spend your time with friends and groups who will bring you closer to God.
- Parents should provide Biblical standards and practical advices to their kids on how to choose friends.
- Introduce your friends to your parents to validate if they are good or bad company.
- Book of Hope Philippines : www.onehope.net
- Teen v2.0 (Upgrade to the next you) by Stan Toler
- 100 Questions on the Christian Life compiled by OMF Lit
- Taming Your Stress by Deborah Smith Pegues
- The 77 Habits of Highly Ineffective Christians by Chris Fabry
- Following Jesus by Ross Tooley
- Christianity Today for Teens : http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/
- The minimum legal drinking age is 18 but underage drinking is common in the Philippines.
- In a survey conducted by the University of the Philippines in 1994, 60% or 5.3 million Filipino youths are said to be drinking alcoholic beverages. About 4.2 million of them are males and 1.1 million are females.
- According to the study, most Filipino teenagers have tried cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.
- On the average, Filipino youths start drinking alcohol at the age of 16 or 17.
- Among girls, drinking is more acceptable than smoking. But it is considered more appropriate for men than for women to drink.