Peers are people who you hang out with. They are usually other people just like you and can be one or more of the following:
Friend pressure can be either negative power or positive power; it can help you to do good things or bad. Being in a group is important but you have to decide who are friends with good influence and who are those with not-so-good influence.
Friends who are good for you
Friends can have a good affect on you. For example, a good friend might get you involved in some things you can feel proud about.
And you can influence others in a positive way by:
Your friends and group can offer you lots of good things, such as:
Friends who are not good for you
Pressure from friends can be very powerful; it can make you feel you have to do something that you might not usually want to do. It is when you choose to do this to fit in, or be a ‘main actor’ to these friends that you start to get into trouble. Some examples include:
Kids tell us the main reasons they give in to friend pressure are because:
Choose your friends carefully
Dealing with pressures from friends can be difficult for everyone. It can really help to have at least one friend who is willing to say ‘no’ too. This takes a lot of the power out of peer pressure and makes it much easier to resist doing the things you don’t want to or feel uncomfortable about.
Here are some ways to avoid negative pressure before it happens:
If you have a friend who is pressuring you to do something you don’t want to do, it is really important that you talk to someone about what is happening. Talk to someone who you know will listen and help you. When we spoke to Yamaji kids in year 4-7 they said they would tell their teacher and their mum.
Yamaji kids in year 8-10 said of all the people they could talk with about bullying they would tell their mum and their nana. Other people they said they could tell are:
Helping your friends
What should you do if your friend has a problem or is in trouble? Suppose your friend doesn’t want to talk about it? Or maybe he/she has asked you to promise not to tell anyone?
These situations are not easy. Sometimes just being there and listening is enough, but sometimes they might need more help than you can give them.
Helping a friend
Don’t ignore bullying if it is happening to your friends. You can help. Don’t let the students who bully get away with thinking that no one will do anything. Here are a few things you can do:
You can talk to your AIEO (ATA or AEW), teacher or principal that you want your school to be a Solid School; refer them to this website for some ideas!
When friends have an argument or fight
Sometimes you and your friends may have an argument or fight. Sometimes the things that are said or done can be very hurtful. Maybe one friend has been mean or carried yarns; or maybe the other friend let them down or something they said came out wrong. Whatever the reason, sometimes the falling out can be very serious and the friends don’t make up. It can feel terrible when someone who was part of your life is suddenly not there.
Always talk to someone you trust (parents or carers, aunties or uncles, nana or pop, brother or sister, cousin) to find ways of fixing up the friendship or at least being able to move on without feeling really bad.