About the Author
R. W. Alley is the illustrator for the popular Abbey Press adult series of Elf-help books, as well as an illustrator and writer of children’s books. He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island, with his wife, daughter, and son. See a wide variety of his works at: www.rwalley.com.
Jim Auer has taught teenagers for over thirty years. He is the author of eleven books and over 300 articles, most of them for teens and young adults. He and his wife have been married for thirty years and are the parents of two former teenagers.
Read an Excerpt
Standing Up to Peer Pressure
A Guide to Being True to You
By Jim Auer, R. W. Alley
Abbey PressCopyright © 2003 Jim Auer
All rights reserved.
What Is a Peer?
People are different ages. There are young people like yourself and older people like your parents and your grandparents. That's good. The world needs people of different ages.
People of about the same age are peers to each other. Someone who is about your age is your peer. People who are about your parents' age are their peers.
A peer might be a very close friend or just someone you recognize. Even people your age that you don't know at all are your peers.
Different Kinds of Pressure
Push on one arm with the other. That's pressure. You feel it with your skin and your body.
You can sense other kinds of pressure on the inside—with your feelings. When you want to win a game or a sport, that's pressure. When you want to do well in school, that's pressure, too.
We all need some pressure. It's good for us. It pushes us to get going. But pressure is not good if it pushes us in the wrong direction.
It's normal to want to feel good. Many things help make that happen. One big way is when other people like you, and want to be with you, and think you're okay.
To help make that happen, it's natural to want to please your friends. You may want to be what they expect you to be. That's okay as long as they expect good things for you.
When you feel that you have to be like your peers, and do what they're doing, that's called "peer pressure."
Sometimes peers actually tell you to be like them. They might say, "Let's all do this." Or they might say, "If you want to belong, you have to do that."
Sometimes you can just feel pressure inside yourself. If your friends dress a certain way or talk a certain way, you might feel that you should too—even if they haven't said that to you.
When Peer Pressure Is Bad
Sometimes your peers know that they are doing or planning wrong things. Some examples are smoking, stealing, using bad language, breaking things, or making fun of someone.
But if they can get others to do those things, then it lets them feel okay about it. They may try to get you to join them.
Much of the trouble kids get into comes from giving in to bad peer pressure.
Excerpted from Standing Up to Peer Pressure by Jim Auer, R. W. Alley. Copyright © 2003 Jim Auer. Excerpted by permission of Abbey Press.
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