"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends."
Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
HOW WE CAN STAND UP TO OUR FRIENDS?
We give in to peer pressure because we are not prepared. How do we prepare ourselves?
- Think about what you would do in tough situations
- Become clear on your personal goals
- Winning the Daily Private Victory
What would you do in tough situations? The following are examples of tough situations:
- Your group of friends starts making fun of someone.
- I feel pressured to lies, steal or cheat.
- I am offered drugs or alcohol.
- A boyfriend or girlfriend is pressuring me to get more intimate than I would like.
One of the best things teens (or adults) can do for themselves is develop good "Pre-Problem-Solving" skills. These help us to avoid problems before they begin by training us to notice when an anti-social opportunity presents itself. These skills help us recognize the negative consequences that could result, and use smart-power skills to say "no." What are these steps?
Think ahead of possible trouble—situations you might be asked to participate in.POKE it—test each with the three-question "POKE-it" test below.Consider the consequences if you did it.Practice a "No"—and suggest alternatives using the "5-Cs."Congratulate yourself—for using smart-power.
We have already discussed the first point. What then is the POKE-it test? This is a 3 question test as outlined below:
P = P-I-I-U-U test: Is any Part Illegal, Immoral, Unkind or Unethical? That's P-I-I-U-U for short— which is the test used to identify stinky anti-social behaviour.
OK = Is it okay with my parents and the public? Would my parents (or my teacher or the police) approve if they knew I did it?
E = If Everyone did it to me, would I like it? Would you honestly like it if everyone did it to you?
We have discussed the first and second points. How do we then practice saying NO? There is a smart way to say "no" and still keep your friends using 5-Cs. The 5-Cs comes in handy when you are being pressured by your friends to do something you don't want to do, or you know is harmful. What is the 5-Cs then?
Caution - Ask questions, name the negative behaviour and say "no"
Change the plan - Suggest a better idea
Catch you later - Leave if necessary
Call me - Call me if you change your mind.
2. GET CLEAR ON YOUR GOALS
Specific goals help you resist negative peer pressure. Begin with the end in mind and become clear about what you need to do to achieve that goal. Write down a few specific goals and a personal mission statement. Examples of specific goals:
- Get and maintain a specific grade in school
- Achieve a certain goal in fitness, sports or other activities
- Be a good example to your siblings
Examples of simple mission statements:
- Be honest
- Do what's right
- Be kind to everyone
- Always remember who you are and what you stand for
- Try your hardest.
- Give an activity your all
- Have fun
3. WIN THE DAILY PRIVATE VICTORY WAR
You can overcome the public challenges you face daily if you take the time to do this three step routine every day.
- Get in touch with yourself- Pray, meditate, and write in your journal, read motivational books
- Review your goals and ambitions
- Visualize your daily challenges and how to handle them.
How do we have a strong support system?
- Surround yourself with trusted friends, family members and adults who inspire you to be your best.
- Set goals with your friends and hold each other accountable
- Get involved in extracurricular activities like joining sports teams, choir, school plays, youth clubs etc.
The above information has been picked and combined from the following resources:
- Covey, Sean (1998) 7 Habits of Highly Effective TeensCovey,
- Sean (2006) The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens
- Kumpher, Dr. Karol (2011) Strengthening Families Program, Ages 8-16