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Module 2: FRIENDS

Page 14

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topic five – within groups (continued)

to the teacher

Peer pressure is something everyone faces through life. It is therefore important for young people to discover ways of establishing their own values. This would help them to have the moral courage to stand up for the things they believe are right and to opt out of those things they know will do them harm in the long run.

In addition they could find increased inner strength by learning to give positive leadership, not in the dictatorial sense but in the creation of good communication, teamwork and constructive activities.

One teenager wrote, 'I think the main challenge for young people today has got to be peer pressure, always having to do things because your friends are doing them like smoking and drinking. But I think it's best just to be yourself.' In agreeing with this, others in the group said they felt pressured by their friends to experiment with drugs, alcohol and casual sex, and sometimes to take part in violence. Other challenges mentioned were coping with unemployment, divorce and high expectations from their families.

topic development

To open up the subject of peer pressure, discuss with the class why young people often go around in groups and what causes most peer pressure.

Give them each a sheet of paper and ask them to divide it down the centre and write 'for' at the top of one column and 'against' on the other. Now they should write down four pressures they have experienced, in the appropriate columns, and their reasons for and against giving in to these pressures.

Have a class discussion using what has been written.

Introduce resource sheet 2 (page 17) Facing the truth on which are two examples of peer pressure and worksheet 4 (page 15) Be yourself which gives questions helping them to think through the issues in the examples and how these apply to themselves.

 

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