“If everybody’s mother let them jump off a cliff…?”

Well, something like that is the patented parental response to the adolescent urge to do and be just like one’s friends. Peer pressure can be both a serious problem (leading to dangerous and destructive behavior as well as loss of identity) or a positive influence (if the peers push each other toward achievement).

While a real issue for many children and youth, peer pressure does not necessarily go away like pimples and giggles. Based solely on my ongoing observations in one setting, I am led to believe that peer pressure impacts many adults — often parents of adolescents — as well.

In the community where I live there is a remarkable sense of sameness among 30- and 40-something parents who drive almost-matching hefty SUVs with window stickers promoting their private school choice, their child’s athletic prowess, their favored beach destination.

Social status in the community seems to rule much of young adult behavior including membership in country clubs, civic organizations and even churches.

There are still many who have yet to learn that our personal value comes from being created and loved by God — not from anything we can obtain or attain. One of the creative wonders of God is our unique individualism that cannot be masked by our silly attempts at social cloning.

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