I recently had a grandmother tell me about an uncomfortable conversation she had with her elementary-aged grandson. Prompted by watching a TV news story on the current teen vaping epidemic, the inquisitive boy had asked grandma whether she had ever been a smoker. In an effort to be totally honest, the grandmother told her grandson that “yes”, she had been a smoker during her teenage years. When the boy followed up with another question. . . “Why did you smoke?”. . . the grandmother told the truth. “All my friends smoked. I didn’t want to be left out.” She went on to explain how she had made an unwise choice to give in to peer pressure.
Proverbs 13:20 tells us that “he who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Yes. . . my own adolescent experience is proof enough of the truth of those wise words.
Peer pressure has been an uneasy and difficult reality to navigate with kids. I remember just how strong a role it played in my own adolescent life. While peer pressure is an issue that must be addressed with our kids, we are mistaken if we assume that the peer pressure they feel in today’s world is no different from the peer pressure those of us who are older experienced when we were growing up.
On today’s episode of “Youth Culture Today”, I describe the difference between peer pressure then and peer pressure now. The minute it takes to listen will help you develop some much-needed sensitivity to what kids. . . and even adults. . . are facing in today’s world. . .