Positive Peer Pressure (PPP)
Believe it or not the concept exists! I hear it every once a while and I’m always pleasantly surprised. What is positive peer pressure? It’s when kids encourage their peers to do the right thing instead of the wrong thing. As a teacher, I especially like to see it happen because kids will often listen to other kids before they will listen to an adult. Adults can come across as stuffy authority figures, far removed from what it’s like to be a teenager. The key to effective PPP is in the delivery. Peers need to get the message across without sounding condescending. So often they may mean well, but their message is lost in their tone. Just today I heard a few of my students encouraging another student to refrain from disruptive behavior. So often, society is quick to point out negative peer pressure that we fail to recognize PPP. Ask yourself this question: Are my friends enabling my self-destructive behavior, or do they have the guts to call me out? Do you have the courage to confront your friends when they are messing up their life? What if you don’t say anything and you later find out that they were seriously hurt or died because you failed to act? No one needs that kind of guilt on their conscience. One thing I have learned from teaching kids is that positivity can be just as contagious as negativity if you give it a chance.