“Recognizing the Warning Signs and Giving New Direction” by Paul David Tripp
A summary of the booklet from Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF)
Does your child do and say things just to be liked and accepted? Constantly talk about what others think and say?
What Does God Say About Peer Pressure?
Peer pressure is not just a teen issue – it’s a human issue.
- Proverbs 29:25 “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
- Psalm 146:3-4
- Isaiah 51:7-8
- Jeremiah 17:5-8
Peer pressure is a vertical, not a horizontal problem.
- We naturally exchange worship and service of the Creator for worship and service of the creation.
Teenagers Are Especially Vulnerable to Peer Pressure
During the teen years, your child is building an independent network of relationships.
This is also time when a teenager begins to establish a sense of identity and belonging that is separate from her family.
- Teens fear being known for who they really are, so they try to become the person they think their peers want them to be.
- Teens are afraid of rejection, so they become skilled at doing and saying things that will gain them acceptance with certain people or groups.
- Teens fear hurt and mistreatment, so they watch out for and avoid situations that seem relationally dangerous or painful.
Fear of God is the Only Lasting Solution to the Fear of Man
- No lecture, no human motivation, no threat, and no punishment will release your teenager from being motivated by his fears of others.
- That doesn’t mean you should stop instructing, encouraging, and warning him of the dangers of attaching his identity, meaning, and purpose to the acceptance of another human being.
- Only when your children find their identity, meaning, and purpose in the Lord will they stop seeking those things from their peers.
Practical Strategies for Change
- Look deeper than your child’s behavior.
- Don’t overreact to your teenager’s friendships.
- Approach your teenager as a fellow struggler.
- Gently point out the symptoms of peer pressure problems.
- Don’t ask the law to do what only grace can accomplish.
- Make your home the best hangout place ever.
- Make time for your teenager.
- Look for opportunities to point your teenager to her true identity.