Have you noticed that your child seemed to change overnight from sweet and loveable, into hateful, defiant, disrespectful, discourteous and moody? How did this happen and where did you go wrong? The culprit is oftentimes peer group pressure, or to put in another way, peer group worship. As John Rosemond in his book, “Teen Proofing” writes, “In effect, the peer group becomes a religion. More accurately, it becomes a cult during the tween age years.” The author also suggests it is also convenient to assign this type of very difficult behavior committed by tweens and teens to peer group influence or pressure. Although the adolescent peer group has a powerful influence, the phenomenon is not unique to teens. It also happens in the adult world. He suggests, “this business of peer pressure/influence, is nothing more than a fact of social life. Children become increasingly social as they get older; therefore the peer group exerts increasing influence.”
Have hope! You are not necessarily losing control of the parent child relationship. Your child is simply trying to unplug from your apron strings, instinctively knowing he needs to begin to cut the ties, and become an independent person taking control of his own destiny. At this time, the parent’s job is to change from authority figure, to mentor. It’s a big transition, but it needs to be addressed and understood.