If your class is meeting online, invite your students to bring an index card or piece of paper, along with a pen or pencil, with them to class.
Peer pressure often has a negative connotation but imagine that sometimes peer pressure could be used for good! For example, celebrity Kim Kardashian recently joined other celebrities in a social media boycott. Social media websites sometimes financially profit off of hate speech and misleading articles, and these celebrities wouldn’t stand for it. They encouraged their followers to join them in the boycott. Even though Kim Kardashian has made many poor decisions in the past, this is an example of a person using their power for good.
- Have you heard of positive peer pressure? In your own words, what does it mean? (It’s using your influence with your friends for good instead of evil.)
- What are some things you could do to use positive peer pressure? (Accept all reasonable answers. If students aren’t sure what to say, suggest examples: buying snacks for a homeless person or including a classmate who feels left out.)
All of us have the ability to influence other people. However, we have to decide whether to use our powers for good or evil. Maybe I can convince my friend to shoplift with me, but that’s a pretty crummy way to use my influence. Couldn’t I convince him to help another person instead? Building wise friendships doesn’t always mean finding new friends. Sometimes, you just need to be wiser with the friendships you already have!
Hand out one index card to each student and a pen/pencil. If your class is meeting online, invite students to have their papers and pens or pencils ready. I want you to think of a friend or family member—someone you know well and who will listen to what you say. Write his or her name at the top of your card.
Now, think of something that the two of you can do together to help others. Don’t make it a huge project, like feeding all the hungry people in the world. It should be “bite-sized,” like helping a teacher after school or sending encouraging texts to a classmate who’s experiencing a hard time. Give your students a chance to think and write. Then ask for a few volunteers to share by asking this question:
- What are some things you could do with your friend to help someone out? (Accept all reasonable answers. Students’ responses should be similar to the examples in the paragraph above—in other words, keep them “bite-sized.”)
Those are good ideas! All of them would be great ways to positively influence a friend or friends to help others. This week, see if you can put your plan into practice. Use positive peer pressure to do something cool with your friend.
Remember, it’s important to be aware that you can be influenced—for bad or for good. Keep an eye out for ways your friends and acquaintances might try to influence you in a negative way. Stand strong and use your influence for good—that’s our goal this week!
Close in prayer.