teen classes & family therapyThis psychological need to belong with a clan originally stemmed from a basic need, safety, and it transcends modern day times. There is safety in numbers but teens can pay a hefty price for being in a clique.


As if they don’t have enough to deal with they also have to worry about keeping up with the Joneses. Whether it’s wearing the it clothes, having that it gear, being in that it place, knowing the it lingo or being in on it (the latest rumor).


It can be mind-bending and can create undue pressure which not all teens are equipped to thwart.


Some of the things that teens can do to protect themselves is to develop a healthy sense of self. Just take some time to get up close and personal with what they like and value about themselves.  It requires honesty and bravery but it’s doable.


They can also explore and identify their skill(s)/talent(s) so that they can feel a sense of mastery about something with which they can be proud. This way, the teen gains strength from within and doesn’t have to succumb to negative external forces. Lastly, teens can surround themselves with peers, family and adults who are supportive and encouraging.


When feeling pressured it’s advisable not to hold on to it. The teen can enlist some coping strategies to help ease the burden. There are quite a few relaxation techniques abound like deep breathing or doing some kind of physical activity.


They can also talk to someone they trust. Venting about a problem can be cathartic.


Finally, they can be creative and write, draw or sing about it. In other words, do no harm, let it go and hang in there.


As we continue to discuss the matter, I need to interject and note that not all peer pressure is bad. Sometimes a teen can be positively pressured. Most adults recognize that peers carry a lot of weight when it comes to influence and improvement is a characteristic that’s seldom frowned upon. One teen can encourage another to be a ‘go getter’ and move past fear, achieve better grades, try out for a sport, or even be a better person. The possibilities are endless.


The need to belong is ingrained within us and by virtue of belonging; competition is generally right around the corner which can lend to peer pressure as the group subdivides. The pressure maybe inevitable, can be managed, and may not always be bad. So teens don’t despair, there can be a grand light at the end of the adolescent tunnel.