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Contemporary Parenting Questions

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Last updated on 09/18/08

Is my child being influenced by his friends?

As children grow older, they tend to spend more and more time with their friends. A teenager in school may spend more time with peers than they do with parents and siblings! It is natural for people to identify with and compare themselves to their peers as they consider how they wish to be (or think they should be), or what they want to achieve. People are influenced by friends because they want to fit in, be like peers they admire, do what others are doing, or have what others have. Although some influence can be good, influence from peers can also be very harmful. Peer pressure is what makes kids try drugs, alcohol, and other dangerous behaviors. Children will do almost anything to retain their social status; even if it means endangering their lives.

In the Jewish Community

The Jewish community has a large population of teenagers, and wherever there are teenagers there is peer pressure. Jewish teens learning a double curriculum often spend most of the day in school among peers. Therefore, it is important to them to have a social circle of friends, no matter the cost. A child with a healthy self-esteem is not immune, but is less likely to suffer from the negative effects of peer pressure.

Use the following links to educate yourself about influence and peer pressure. Learn to distinguish between good and bad influence and find out how to recognize negative peer pressure before it becomes a problem.

Frequently Asked Links

What is peer pressure?

Why is peer pressure important?

What are some of the dangers of peer pressure?

How can I teach my young child to deal with peer pressure?

How can I help my child avoid negative peer pressure?

How can I help my teen respond properly to peer pressure?

How would I know if my teen’s friends are a bad influence?

What should I do if my child has bad friends?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

How are my teen’s friends capable of influencing him/her?

Does a change in peers signify a problem?

Am I entitled to forbid my child from socializing with bad peers?

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You need self-esteem, but it doesn't always come naturally. Find out what it means to feel good about yourself in this article for kids.

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The transition from middle school to high school is an important and seemingly daunting one. Here are a few topics that commonly worry incoming freshmen and some things you might want to know about them.

Resources

American Council for Drug Education
http://www.acde.org
The ACDE is a prevention and education agency against substance abuse. This website includes a helpful list of symptoms associated with specific drugs.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
http://www.tobaccofreekids.org
Launched in September 1995, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids was created to protect young people from tobacco addiction. Contact them at: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids 1400 Eye St. Suite 1200 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 296-5469

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