A peer is someone in your own age group that you hang out with. Peer pressure is the feeling that you are being pushed towards making a certain choice, good or bad. Peer pressure might be difficult to avoid, especially for teenagers, because people in general like to “fit in” and be liked by their peer groups. Sometimes you don’t even know that it is happening, or that you are making choices because of peer pressure. Your peers might even use your desire to fit in to make you do things that you don’t want to do.
Examples of Negative peer pressure:
- Doing things you do not want to do.
- Feeling pushed to wear “the right” clothes.
- Missing school.
- Extreme dieting or bodybuilding.
- Teasing, bullying or hurting other people.
- Trying cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs.
Am I prone to peer pressure?
- Be treated with respect and as an equal
- Express your opinions and feelings
- Not be hurt physically or emotionally
- Have friends and activities outside of the relationship
- To refuse sex or any degree of intimacy at any time
- To end a relationship
- Get to know the person better before starting to date
- Try some group activities before going out alone with the other person
- Explore each other’s interests
- Build a foundation of respect and appreciation
- Be clear with him/her about what you feel comfortable doing
- Encourage the other person to be honest with you
- Let him/her know what time your parents expect you to be home
- Stay safe, let your friends/parents know where you are going and who you are going with
I don’t know what to talk to my parents about.
Parents are most interested in their children’s lives at school or work, but there are many other things that you can use to start a conversation:
- Common interests you share with your parents: sports, music, movies, books, traveling, collections, etc.
- Something you find interesting: a new movie, video game, current event, or story you heard.
- Watch TV together and talk about the shows.
- Ask your parents about their day.
- Help set the table while your parents prepare dinner, ask what else you can do.
Understand that when your parents ask about your life, they are just interested in your activities and want to show support. It is not their intention to pressure you, and they may not even realize that you find their questions intrusive. If you think that not telling them anything at all is the answer, you are wrong! They may think that you are hiding something and start to set rules that you feel are unreasonable. Not communicating will just make matters worse. Let your parents know how you feel, and be patient and kind when you do this. The more information you offer, the less they need to ask. Talking to them about everyday things also show them that
Bullying is a problem affecting many youths and can have lasting impact on their lives. In the United States, 20.1% of high school students in grades 9-12 reported they were bullied on school property and 16.2% reported they were bullied electronically through e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites or texting (Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Center for Disease Control, 2011). To prevent bullying, it is necessary to understand the problem and know what steps to take to stop it.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is when someone repeatedly harms another person either physically or emotionally due to an imbalance of power. Actions such as physically or verbally attacking someone, spreading rumors, and purposely excluding someone from a group are examples of bullying. Recently, technology has opened up a new venue for bullying through the use of the internet, social media sites, and messaging, which is referred to as cyberbullying. The source of cyberbullying is difficult to locate and any harassing remarks or photos once they are posted online are hard to delete.
Is someone you know a victim of dating violence? Are you in an abusive relationship? What can you do to help yourself or your friends? What are your rights in a relationship? Let’s find out.
Dating violence is a set of abusive behavior that a person shows towards another in a relationship. Violence does not have to be physical; it can be in the form of verbal, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. Dating violence can happen to people of any race, culture, age, and religious background. It occurs in homosexual as well as heterosexual relationships.
Dating violence may be more prevalent than you think:
- 1 in 3 teenagers reported knowing a friend who has been hit by their partner. (2005)
- 62% teenagers said they know friends who have been verbally abused by a boyfriend/girlfriend. (2008)
- 26% girls in a relationship reported experiencing repeated verbal abuse. (2008)
- Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have b
Understanding the Difference between Dating and Sex:
Dating is a time when two people get to know each other better. Too often teens think it is a hall pass to the other person’s body. Your date may say things like, “If you don’t want to have sex, why are we dating?” or “If you truly love me, you shouldn’t say no.” Remember, in any relationship, you have the right to voice your opinion. It is important for you to assert yourself and not give in to things you do not want to do. Be prepared to give answers like, “We’re dating because I love you and I want to spend time with you. If you want to have sex, then you are dating the wrong person.”
In a healthy relationship, couples respect each other’s right to say no. And the best way to say no to sex or affection is by saying “No.” Anything else could be taken the wrong way or could give the other person “reasons” to persuade you. Don’t be afraid to express your opinions and feelings. Any strong, loving relationship is built on the basis of mutual respect. If you feel forced