“I don’t know if this qualifies for peer pressure but I was surely influenced. Yinka, our my friend is a year older than I am, we live in the same compound but we attend different schools. She has 4 other siblings and when her parents are not home, she takes care of them – cook, clean and arrange the house, unlike I that am the only child. When she talks to them, she does so with so much authority, cursing and using heavy words that my mom will kill me if she hears me say.
At first, I was irritated at the words and attitude but as time went on, I liked the way she commands authority and promised to do the same, although I don’t have a sibling. Other kids in our compound became my prey but a week after, I didn’t like what I was doing and I want to stop. But it seems so hard to stop, I feel like I’m used to it. I learnt this thing in just 1 week and now it is hard to stop.” – Lisa, 14.
There are so many teenagers out there like my little Lisa today, but their situation may not be curse words, it may be some other gross things that your parents must not hear you do. I promised Lisa I would address this matter on our diary today and yes, here we are. You are welcome again and again wonderful teens and parents, trust you has a nice week since Tuesday last week.
As destroying a thing is easier to do than building it, bad attitudes are easier to pick up (as they are destructive) than stopping (which is upholding), just as prevention is better than cure. At every point in a teenage life, there are some attitudes you pick up that and unnecessary peer pressure you come under, which at the end of the day are not useful even for your own self when it gets to a point.At the point where everyone seems to be morally and principally decayed, you as a teenager should seek to set yourself on the right track, knowing what is good for you, not just for today but for the future of you. As hard as it may seem, of course, every bad attitude you have still has to be stopped and improved upon. Every pressure from your friends need be evaluated if it is worth doing.
How, well first, you need to have a self-evaluation. If you do not see what you do as bad, you will not seek to improve on it or change. If there is a particular thing you are pressured to do or imbibe from your friends, you need to evaluate it. Lisa at first knew what her friend was doing was wrong but along the line, she liked it and adopted it. Until she realised that it is not the kind of thing she likes and want to do, she wasn’t able to seek a solution. So check check check your mind and evaluate yourself to see the things you need to work on.
Once you identify it/them, then you need a plan, a very strategic and careful one. What Lisa and I discussed is whenever she is around the kids she uses these words on, she should mind herself. Remember how you mind yourself when you go to a new school for the first time, or visit a friend of your mum or people you are not familiar with? Yeah, the same care should be put in place. Whenever you want to say those words or take that action that is not acceptable, choose to replace them with something else that will be amazing and will help you not to make your mistake.
Of course it doesn’t just end in a day or immediately as you decide you want to stop, but conscious efforts is the key. Now, when you fall short of your plans, don’t feel too guilty but determine to be more mindful and careful next time. When you do well in your plans, remember to praise yourself and encourage you to keep behaving in that way. Like Lisa, you may also want to talk to a trusted person who will help keep you in check and encourage you where necessary.
Then, know that everyone is not perfect and we continue to improve day by day. Read also: Diary Of A Naija Teen: Dating or Friendship, The Pros And Cons
Also, peer pressure will not get at you if you guard your heart and attitudes rightly. Lisa was influenced by her peer, though, she knew it wasn’t right – she hated it at first and then began to like it – so you see, nobody can tamper with you if you do not begin it in your mind. Guard your heart, guard your attitude, don’t do things because your friends are doing it, do yourself and keep improving. I hope this helps you so much in every area too.
Don’t forget to reach out to me at [email protected] if you have a story to share, advise to seek or topic you want us to discuss. Till next Tuesday, stay safe dearests!