The teenage years are filled with changes and challenges. We also know that the teenage years are a time that many teens deal with many different types of pressure. Pressure in school, pressure from home as they start to test boundaries, and pressure from friends. Many teens experience negative peer pressure, but there is also the opportunity for healthy relationships and positive peer pressure.
Peer Relationships in Teen Girls
For many teenage girls, peer relationships take priority over everything else. They are entering a time when they are exploring their own interests and formulating their own opinions and thoughts outside of their family unit. As they explore new facets of their identity, these friend relationships help shape their new interests and priorities.
Teenagers in general place a high value on inclusion and fear of being left out is a driving force behind many peer pressure situations. Teens may know that they’re making the wrong choice in the moment, but they are so afraid of upsetting their friends, they would rather go with the group than risk being excluded. Because of this, negative peer pressure can be very dangerous for teens girls, but on the other side of the coin, peer pressure can also be used in a positive way.
The Positive Side of Peer Pressure
Positive peer relationships are the result of healthy relationships and can create a bond that lasts well past their teenage years. Peers can set good examples for each other. Having friends who are committed to doing well in school or doing their best in a sport can influence teens to be more goal-oriented, too. Peers who are kind and loyal influence their friends to build these qualities in themselves as well. Friends can also help each other with decision making. If your teen is surrounded by positive peer pressure and they are struggling with a decision that may not be the best choice, those peers will step in and talk them through why they shouldn’t do it. During a time when teens often don’t want to come to parents with their problems, these positive peers can be a huge asset in good decision making.
Positive peer pressure can also help your teen step out of their comfort zone and try new things. New experiences are an important part of a teen’s development, and friends can encourage each other to join a new club or try out for the school play. Things that your teen may feel uncomfortable doing on their own can feel less intimidating when they’re done with friends.
Asheville Academy Can Help
Therapy is not a one-size fits all technique. The wealth of Asheville Academy’s clinical expertise drives the success of our students and their families. We meet kids where they are – using a skills-based approach and teachable moments as they start their therapeutic journey. Our program thrives on strong collaboration among clinical, academics, and residential departments, along with family inclusion every step of the way.
There is tremendous power in the group setting, particularly for students in this age range. In the past, many of our students felt alone in their thoughts, feelings, and frustrations. In the group setting, they learn that other peers have had similar experiences and they are able to connect and support one another in a healthy way. For more information please call (800) 264-8709.