We asked our readers for their thoughts on peer pressure: 

“Once I had a friend over and she wanted me to play a computer game that I was not allowed to play without my parents’ permission. I told her that I wanted her to come over again and if I played the game she could not come again. I wanted to please her and I wanted her to like me but I thought about how it would work out in the long term and I decided that was more important than just making her happy for that moment. JUST SAY NO!”
-Talia M., age 9 

“Peer pressure doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Sometimes girls do good things because there are other people around pressuring them to do it. But no matter what it is, you should choose to do something because you want to, not because everyone else is doing it.”
-Leah L., age 14 

My non-observant cousins recently came for a visit. Their oldest girl, who is about a month older then me, kept telling me how “last century” my clothes were (I was wearing a skirt and T-shirt, and she was wearing a tank top and pants), and that I should wear things like she wore. Finally, I couldn’t take it any more. I told her that I dress according to my family’s rules, and that what wear is my business. It worked! She stopped bugging me about my clothes, and we had a lot of fun for the rest of the visit.
-Batsheva G., age 10 

Don’t do something just because all your friends do it. If you are the one of starts the trends instead of following your friends, you’ll feel better about yourself and people will like you more and see that you’re more independent than just a copy-cat.
-Miriam B., age 15

At camp we were racing another camp in a swimming competition. I had never raced before and I didn’t know how to dive. They said I had to dive into the pool and kept pressuring me to dive. My friend told me that it would probably be okay if I just jumped into the pool. Nobody should be uncomfortable in any situation. Nobody has the right to pressure other people at all. So if people are pressuring you, you should stand up for yourself. If you are at home, you should tell your parents and they can help you with the situation. Or like it happened with me, maybe one of your friends will help you stand up to the others.
-Hadrielle G., age 10 

 Comment! What do you think about peer pressure? Have you experienced peer pressure?