What are the Benefits of Peers for Teenagers?
Teenagers’ worlds are full of fluctuations. As a child becomes a teenager, they will begin to look upon the world outside their family.
Together with their peers, teens will go on discovering new domains of life. Their peers will become very important, often more important than that of their family.
Teens want to express themselves with no boundaries or rules. They experiment in order to gather new experiences and discover their true identity.
Identity of oneself is important for teenagers. Being a member of a group which has a similar identity is a way to express themselves, their feelings and emotions.
All in all, there are six benefits of a peer group for teenagers (Kelly & Hansen, in Dacey & Kenny, 1997). The benefits are as follows:
To gain self-control of aggressive impulses;
To gain social and emotional support as well as autonomy;
To increase social ability, analytical ability, and to express feelings in a mature way;
To develop an attitude toward sexuality and behavior based on gender;
To strengthen moral values and create decisions;
To build-up self esteem.
Parents are sometimes unable to accept their teens’ behavior which they consider negative. As parents, they have to remember that they were teenagers once. For this reason, parents have to learn to see the world from their teen’s perspective.
Furthermore, parents have to keep in mind the circumstances and conditions when speaking with their teen, especially if the conversation are not about an ideal situation. Optimistically, by keeping the right perspective in a situation parents, along their teens, will be able to change a bad moment into an intimate moment.