Whose disapproval is hardest to take for a teen: A parent, friend or teacher?
It’s probably no surprise that teens rate their friend’s and classmates disapproval as most difficult to take; however, it may surprise you that behind friends, a far second would be their teachers and in last place are mom and dad.
Disapproval by their friends and classmates will be avoided at any cost. This is where peer pressure can come into play if they do not have a strong sense of self (healthy self-esteem). It also indicates that the classroom is a micro-society for boys and girls where peer influence is heavily weighted. This can be a huge challenge for many young people since a large portion of their day is spent at school. Let’s not forget the 17-year-old boy who recently jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge while on a school field trip. The authorities are speculating that he did it on a “dare” from classmates. If that turns out to be the case, this act shows the power and magnitude of peer pressure among our young people. To combat those pressures, self-esteem must be built up and nurtured by family and friends early on. Support systems must also be in place to continually foster their self-esteem as they grow.
Teens, be sure the friends you make have your best interest at heart. A true friend would never put you in harm’s way or make you prove your self-worth by a life threatening act. They should love, respect and accept you for who you are. And mom and dad, don’t forget your teens first started learning social queues by observing you and your interactions with friends and family from the time they could crawl. How you treat people and how you allow people to treat you will rub off on them. Keep this in mind so by the time they are teens and start pushing away from parental advice and approval, they will still carry with them the values and standards they observed in you.