The Power of Peer Influence
At Sundance Canyon Academy, we talk to many parents who are worried about the level of influence that other kids can have on their son. Many of our students have gotten into trouble with their friends back home and need to learn to act independently. Other students don’t have friends at home and struggle with depression and social isolation. We are writing on this topic today to help parents understand the power of peer influence and how to encourage positive friendships.
The teenage years are a unique period in life. When kids are still little, family is their world. Sure, they want to play with friends and classmates, but they want their parents’ approval. They want to know that you’re proud of them and that you love them. If they have older siblings, they want to tag along and be just like their older brother or sister.
Things start to change when puberty hits. As hormones kick in, little kids start growing into adults. The teen years are an awkward in-between period, and they’re awkward both inside and out. Just as their bodies are changing, so are their emotions. Peer approval becomes the driving force for most teens, and teenagers make many decisions based on peer influence.
The role of teenage friendships
It should come as no shock that your son’s friends can play a huge role in his life. If your son has a positive group of friends, they can help him make positive life choices. Negative friends can have the exact opposite effect. They might influence