Peer Pressure started much later when I was in school. The drama with girls and boys and who liked who, didn't start until middle school. But I distinctly remember my daughter, when she was in 4th grade, come home giving me the run down of the daily drama. I was shocked that they would be dealing with those issues and weren't even in the double digits in age.
Peer Pressure in today's society is very much real and in the live's of our children, whether they are being pressured, or pressuring someone else. This is a subject that all parents should have with their youth, or make sure they are getting sound advice from somewhere.
It's a know fact that teens who have friends that smoke and drink are more likely to do it as well. They will seek out people who do it to keep the product readily available when needed. Parents, we need to be in our kids business and put limits on friends. No, we can't hold their hand and watch their every move. We must educate ourselves to see the signs that your teen is into something. Never say "not my child".
A study done by The Kaiser Foundation, found that 23% of females feel pressured to have sex from their friends. 44% of teens would like more information on handling peer pressure about sex and what to do when they want to engage in sexual activity and 46% of parents have still not discussed sexual peer pressure with their kids. We have got to get to a place, parents, where we are willing to have these hard conversations.
Sure, no one wants to think about their teenager having sex. But, I would rather talk to her about it and prepare her on what to do when she feels pressured, then to talk about how to be a mother at 16 because she fell into the peer pressure. We must help our teen girls and empower them with knowledge that pressure from boys is not OK. And putting pressure on someone is not OK either, no matter the reason.
Tune in next month for our first teen panel that will dig deeper into the pressures of being a teen from the mouths of our teen girls.
Such a very touchy topic for more then one reason. Back in 2002 I was a teen mother. It wasn't because I wasn't loved or taken care of. It wasn't that I was some out of control teen my parents couldn't handle. Life happens and it happened to me. I think the difference with me was I had a great support system so I wasn't alone and never lacked anything emotionally or materialistically. I knew how to handle my business and was too strong willed to let that stop me. So, I pushed through and graduated a year early, kept a job to support my child and began life as a teen mother. I can say i always provided for my daughters and my parents didn't have to raise them. I fought the odds and got my college degrees and started a company and made something of myself.
Not every teen is as blessed and fortunate as I was. In Colorado, we as a state , rank 49 in births of children to unmarried mothers. Not too shabby. But we rank 32 in teen pregnancies. Teen girls between the ages of 15-19 birthed 194,370 babies in 2017. (2018 data is not available). This is huge. That means that somewhere there is a fatherless child because chances are the the parents are the same age. There is also a high chance that the mother didn't finish high school. Parents, I urge you to find a mentor for your teen daughter if they are sexually active or not following a healthy path in life. I know we all want to be the voice in our childs life, but truth is they sometime digest things easier and are more free to openly talk to someone unbiased and someone they feel they won't get in trouble with.
Here are some facts about teen mothers: 1. they are more likely to rely on public assistance ( food stamps, section 8 etc). 2. they are less likely to finish high school 3. they are more likely to have children with poorer education, behavioral and health outcomes.
Let's save our teen girls! If you can't be the voice they listen to, find a mentor you trust to lead them and motivate them for greatness. Change starts with us.