Peer Pressure Lesson for Kids: Facts & Definition

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Peers can be great fun to hang out with, but sometimes peers pressure others to do things that are harmful. In this lesson, learn the definition of peer pressure and identify strategies for how to handle the influence of peers.

Peers and Pressures

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt worried that you might have to do something bad in order to fit in? You were experiencing peer pressure and you are definitely not alone! Many people, even adults, feel pressure to fit in.

Peers are people who are similar to you in age. It's common to feel peer pressure at school, around your friends, or with teammates. It is very important to know what peer pressure looks like, and how to handle it if you ever experience it.

Peer pressure can occur at school or with teammates

What Does it Look Like?

Normally, good friends want you to do things that are fun and safe. In fact, you may have become friends with people because they have similar interests and ideas to yours. But sometimes people try to gain friends in the wrong way.

What exactly does peer pressure look like? This is a situation where a peer tries to convince you to do something that you know is wrong or unhealthy. For example, they may ask you to vandalize, or damage some property by painting on it. Although using your creativity for artwork is usually a great idea, painting pictures on someone else's property without their permission is vandalism. You may feel pressure to do this anyway, even if you know it is wrong.

If a person asks you to vandalize property in order to be friends, you are experiencing peer pressure
peer pressure

A true friend will never ask you to do something that is harmful to you or others. A common phrase you might have heard is to 'trust your gut.' No, this isn't talking about what you ate for lunch! Sometimes you know a situation is wrong and you get a bad feeling in your stomach. If that happens when you are with a peer, trust your gut!

Have Courage

Peer pressure is common because unfortunately, it works. You may want to do something so someone will like you. As tempting as their friendship may be, have courage. This means that you are brave and do what is right, even though you may really want someone to like you.

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