What the heck is a peer, anyway?
          A peer is someone who is like you in some way. Here we mean someone who is about the same age as you. When you hear your parents say things like 'peer pressure', they're refering to people in your class, the kids you play with, your friends, the others on your baseball team or volleyball team.  Peers can be any kids you come in contact with on a regular basis, the other kids you might hang out with or be influenced by.
          It is important to know who you are and who you want to be, to know right from wrong, so you are not heavily influenced by peers who practice the kinds of behavior that might get you into trouble, or that might hurt you.  It is also important to be able to express yourself to your peers, especially if you are going through a tough time in your life. 
          When something is wrong in your life and it makes you sad or upset, maybe angry or depressed, the people around you will notice the way you're acting.  If you can explain to them what is making you act this way, they can be more understanding and supportive of you.
          Sometimes your peers might be involved in some activity or behavior that is wrong, or dangerous and you might feel that if you don't go along with them, that they won't like you or talk to you anymore.  Even if you know what they're doing is wrong or dangerous, you might go along with them just to fit in.  This is peer pressure.
         We want to hear about your own experience with your peers.  
  • What happened?  
  • How did you feel?  
  • Were you able to explain to them how it made you feel?  
  • Were you able to do the right thing for you and withstand the peer pressure?  
  • If not, what happened in the long run?
          Send your responses to this page to [email protected]  Let us know if we can post your comments on this page, to share with other kids.

I used to hang with the wrong crowd. The dope smokers and the drunks. When I broke away, they got pissed and have officially discarded me. When I was with them, I was rude to others who said they were awful people and they will not talk to me now. I'm all alone and probably back in my suicidal depression but I don't want to go back and get treatment. I'm tired of being poked and prodded like a lab rat. I tried to explain to the wrong crowd that I needed to worry about my future but they were like, 'sure, go after your stupid dreams'. It burnt. I was able to stand them but in the long run, maybe it would of been better to stay with them. I wouldn't be alone then. --Glory

It's never good to stay with people who hurt you. Being alone is better than being degraded. Perhaps something very simple like telling people you care about that you are sorry you were rude, will help. Maybe you will make new friends. We suggest you join k2k here where the kids teach each other lots about caring for each other for good reasons. Just go to http://www.griefnet.org/KIDSAID/kids2kids.html And your experience might help them with choices they have to make.

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