As a parent, you undoubtedly worry a great deal about your child. Though you may have initially thought this worry would lessen over time, you may have only found yourself finding new scenarios to have concerns over. Even as your child reaches the later teenage or even college years, you may still feel apprehensive about the potential for finding him or her in a dangerous situation.
In particular, you may worry that your son or daughter could end up dabbling in underage drinking or drug use. Unfortunately, these issues are a reality. Often, individuals — of any age — may feel pressured by their friends or other parties to drink alcohol even though they may not necessarily want to. However, it can be difficult to combat peer pressure, and it can sometimes cause people to act in a manner they might not have normally.
Types of peer pressure
While the first type of peer pressure that may come to your mind is someone trying to coerce your child into drinking, other types of pressure do exist. Two common types of peer pressure are:
- Active: This category relates to the scenario just mentioned. Active peer pressure involves a person specifically trying to get another individual to drink. This may take the form of physically putting a drink into your child's hand, teasing if he or she does not drink or saying it will help your child fit in.
- Passive: Passive peer pressure is a more indirect form of pressure. While someone may not directly tell your child to drink, he or she may still feel pressured to do so due to the environment, such as attending a party where many people drink, or hearing other people talk about drinking and wanting to join in.
Your child could also put pressure on him or herself. This type of action may fall into the passive peer pressure category as no outside force is directly trying to coerce your child to drink. However, if he or she feels that not drinking may cause isolation or that drinking will help make new friends, your child may talk him or herself into drinking.
Though peer pressure can prove difficult to handle, if it leads to underage drinking, your child could still face serious consequences. In such an event, criminal charges could be brought against him or her, and you may fear the damage such allegations could cause. Luckily, you could explore defense options that may help your child combat underage drinking allegations.