An experiment was done at a high school to measure peer pressure among the students in a class. The results showed that 79% of the teens in the group gave in to peer pressure during this experiment. Peer pressure is a real thing, and can be very strong, so preparing your teen for peer pressure is very important.
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I remember facing it when I was in my teen years, and attending a Christian school. Our kids will all face peer pressure at some point during their teen years, whether we send them to a Christian school, public school, or home school them.
The question is not whether or not they will face it, but rather what are we doing to prepare them to deal with it?
Most teens today have bought into what culture is telling them. They have been led to believe that the teen years are the time to have fun, take it easy, and have no responsibilities. Unfortunately, many Christian parents believe this, as well. However, do you know the word teenager is not in the Bible? The term young/men is used 140 times in the Bible.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. I Cor. 13:11
This doesn’t say, When I a became a teenager (or adolescent.) God looks at teens as an adult in training. They don’t just magically become an adult when they turn 18.
Adulthood is a process that begins when they turn 12 years old. Teens will never again have the opportunity to learn and prepare that they have during their teen years.
They have time to:
- walk with God
- study God’s Word
- read good books
- learn how to work
- seek wisdom
As Christian parents, we need to challenge and prepare our children to stand up to peer pressure, and be the ones leading, rather than following.
Remind them that everyone has someone who looks up to them. For example: “If you do right, they’ll do right! If you do wrong, they will be right behind you. Everyone has influence. Everyone can be an encouragement. Everyone can help someone else make it.”
The world says, “Life is short; live it up!“ Let’s prepare our children for the teen years, and train them so their philosophy will be “Life is too short; live for God!”
As parents, every one of us will choose some pattern to follow in the rearing of our children. Many parents look to the world’s definition of success and use it as the pattern for their children’s upbringing. I contend that there is a better pattern, and that pattern is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our job as parents is to do everything possible to see to it that our children’s hearts and minds are molded to the image of Christ. This is the ultimate goal and the ultimate challenge. To choose any other pattern, even that of ourselves, is to rob our children of some of what they could one day become. –The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ
The above quote was taken from chapter 10 of The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ. Though the book is written to and for young people around age 12 or older, this chapter is written to encourage parents to teach their young people the priorities of Christ’s teenage years, as outlined in the book , and how to help our children develop these priorities in their lives. I highly recommend that all parents read this before their kids enter the teen years, and also have their teens read it. It is full of practical teaching to help our teens grow in wisdom, and lead rather than follow.
Take time to think about how you are doing in preparing your teens for peer pressure, and ask God to give you wisdom to guide and encourage them.