Peer Presure

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Your friends — your peers — are people your age or close to it who have experiences and interests similar to yours. You and your friends make dozens of decisions every day, and you influence each other's choices and behaviours. This is often positive — it's human nature to listen to and learn from other people in your age group. As you become more independent, your peers naturally play a greater role in your life. As school and other activities take you away from home, you may spend more time with peers than you do with your parents and siblings. Peer Influence Isn't All Bad

You already know that the teen years can be tough. You're figuring out who you are, what you believe, what you're good at, what your responsibilities are, and what your place in the world is going to be. It's comforting to face those challenges with friends who are into the same things that you are. •Friendship. Among peers you can find friendship and acceptance, and share experiences that can build lasting bonds. •Positive Examples. Peers set plenty of good examples for each other. Having peers who are committed to doing well in school or to doing their best in a sport can influence you to be more goal-oriented, too. •Socializing. Your peer group gives you opportunities to try out new social skills. Getting to know lots of different people — such as classmates or teammates — gives you a chance to learn how to expand your circle of friends, build relationships, and work out differences. •Encouragement. Peers encourage you to work hard to get what you set your mind to. •Good Advice. Peers often give each other good advice. Your friends will be quick to tell you when they think you're making a mistake or doing something risky. When the Pressure's On

Sometimes, though, the stresses in your life can actually come from your peers. They may pressure you into doing something you're uncomfortable with, such as shoplifting, doing drugs or drinking, taking dangerous risks when...
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