by Terrence Landers
Peer Pressure: The effect of an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing attitudes, values or behaviors to confirm to those of the influencing group or individual. Teens can be influenced by peers to do things such as drugs, alcohol, or extreme activities that can sometimes lead to death.

Teens can avoid peer pressure by having strong boundaries and by surrounding themselves with family and/or peers that share the same values. Often, my children and I will use roll play as a way to learn refusal skills when it comes to how to handle the pressures associated with peer pressure. This helps them prepare and know what to do when confronted with a situation that requires them to stay true to their values and not give in to popular opinion.

Often times we view peer pressure in a negative way but there is a such thing called positive peer pressure. These are the teens or friends that steer you and encourage you to do the right things. This includes encouraging you to do your best in your studies, sports and even in your personal and social interactions. This can also help in keeping goals and boundaries intact. Peer Pressure can be avoided by simply making a choice to be around those friends and influences that are living a positive life and have tight boundaries.