INTRODUCTION

A peer is a friend or acquaintance or a person that is around the same age with you. Often it is someone you know at school, church or mosque, at a social gathering or wok place.

Pressure means a push or force.

So, put together, “Peer Pressure” means a push coming from people around the same age with you, whom you tend to hang out with.

Moral decadence can be said to be the decay in moral behavior or better still, the display of immoral behaviour.

Well, one funny thing about morals is that what is acceptable and practiced in a place may not be acceptable in another and vice-versa.

🎲 Manifestations of Moral Decadence:

The manifestation of moral decadence in the society we live now is very obvious. This is observed in the way youths behave i.e. with respect to smoking and other negative vices. Smoking is becoming an acceptable practice by the youths in today’s world.

The way youths go about their dressing is another issue to worry about because, most of them, especially females go out half naked in the name of fashion.

Drugs are becoming an increasing problem among the youths of today. They tend to consume them for leisure and recreational purposes.

Being a member of a cult is another method students use to intimidate their fellow students on campus. Female students now flaunt prostitution as a means of getting money. There is this practice whereby females date men old enough to be their father or uncle, called “ARISTO”. Young pretty girls have flooded the nation’s federal capital and notable cities and the major trade they are into is prostitution, the world’s oldest profession.

🎲 Causes of Moral Decadence

👉 Bad upbringing is one of the major causes of moral decadence. It’s so unfortunate that parents especially mothers go through pains to have a child delivered and after spending much money and time for the naming ceremony or christening, they devout little or no time to bring up the child well.

Imagine, most parents leave the home as early as possible and return late at night. They spend a large sum of money to send the child to expensive schools but are never around to monitor the child’s behavior.

There are no spiritual values from the home front. Parents and guardians endeavor to provide for their child and wards but hardly discus the holy book with them. A child, who has been brought up in a God-fearing way, will not easily pick up a weapon to kill a fellow student or partake in any destructive activity.

👉 The fallen standard of education is also a cause of moral decadence. There are several disruptions in the academic calendar such as student unrest, strike by teachers and lecturers and inadequacy in the availability of quality logistics and tutorials in the educational institutions. Accompanying this is the phenomenon of cultism in higher institutions. Since most schools don’t have guardian councilors, the student tends to discuss their problems with friends.

There is a seeming lack of government commitment to youths educational and social developments. Even the National Youth Service Corp (N.Y.S.C) in Nigeria, is not really achieving its ideal aim. People now lobby their postings to preferred states and the quality of the NYSC kits is substandard.

There is hardly a well-equipped recreational center for youths to develop their sporting skills. If they are not out of school due to strike embarked upon by their teachers or lecturer, they are made to stay away from school due to Nigeria Labour Congress strike actions and no thanks to the government.

Peer pressure is really one of the greatest influence in a young person’s life. Everyone wants to belong and feel accepted. The fear of being rejected or left out can be threatening. As a result, many youths go into drugs and alcohol, cheat at school or at the workplace, stealing, engaging in premarital sex and rebel against their parents, guardians and other people merely because their classmates or friends do so.

🎲 CHALLENGES

Challenges should be on the peer groups which are the next closest society group after the family that is close to the young person or individual. So, it becomes a vehicle to impact knowledge and disseminate ideas as well as imbibe values. When you associate with the wrong group, pressure comes in and becomes and big challenge for you to wrestle with.

Things you should know about peer pressure:

1. Peer pressure can be extremely strong and hard to resist. The idea of “everyone is doing it” can influence you to change from doing what is right, to doing the wrong thing.

2. Peer pressure can create new cultural experiences. Youths have multiple peer relationship that compliment many different cultures, and many have different norms and values systems than the ones they see inside their homes or surrounding environments.

3. Peer pressure can shape positive behavioural patterns. You may meet a friend that knows a faster way to complete an algebra problem or a science project that you find difficult. He she will end up saving you a lot of stress.

4. Peer pressure can lead you to make better choices.

5. Through peer pressure, you can make decisions that can affect your eternal life negatively such as cultism, murder, adultery, etc.

6. Interestingly, peer pressure can assist you in becoming more physically and socially active. You tend to participate in sporting or other social activities because your friends are participating.

📌There is so much peer pressure out there from figuring out what to wear, when and where to go, taking part in destructive activities to deciding whether you should become sexually active or not. Well, it will do you more good than bad to know that there at some things you need to think about before peer pressure makes the decision for you. 📌

1. Not every person your age is having sex. Even if sometimes it feels like everyone is “doing it”, it is important to realize that this is not true. People often talk about sex in a casual manner, but this does not mean they are sexually active.

2. Alcohol and drugs can cloud your mind, making you do things you normally would not do. Remember, it is possible to get unwanted pregnancy or contact and transmit an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) from one act of unprotected sex.

3. Hollywood or Nollywood as the case may be doesn’t show the full story. Sexual and destructive acts are shown daily on Television, Home videos and even in commercial adverts as well as Pornography Magazines. This is part of the reason why youths enjoy these things so much. Just remember that characters in these movies, television shows and advertisements are actors and actresses and people posing in the magazines and posters are models. They can’t get unwanted pregnancy or contact AIDS and STD’s. They can’t even have permanent scars but you can if you imitate them in real life.

4. While you are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, it is easy to make a wrong decision which you will regret later. There are people who will use the effects of alcohol and other drugs to force or seduce you into engaging in sexual intercourse with them.

🎲 RECOMMENDATIONS

These are my humble recommendations:

👉 There is absolutely an urgent need to review our educational curricula. One of the ways to do that is by reintroducing moral instruction in the school curriculum at all levels. Moral instruction was a subject I personally benefitted from while I was in primary school. But it’s a pity that this subject is no longer taught in schools. I spoke with a public secondary school teacher in the course of preparing this post and she told me that it is no longer in the school curriculum. I was made to know that it is in the curriculum of students at the teachers training college.

I strongly believe that if Moral Instruction is reintroduced into the school curriculum at all levels, there will be continuity of learning good conducts and the knowledge will not fade away so easily. Please note that the advantage of letting moral instruction be taught in all levels, i.e, from Primary to Higher institutions, is that there will be enough room to cover everything on morals.

The government should see the need to review the educational curriculum and the reintroduction of moral instruction at all levels. If this is implemented, it will not be easy for any student to get involved in examination malpractice, cultism or destructive activities. Government should ensure that every school has at least a qualified guidance counselor.

👉 Religious institutions should show more commitment in moral upbringing. Responsible and God-fearing people should be appointed to head children/youth associations.

👉 It seems parents have forgotten most of their vital responsibilities towards their children. A father thinks that he has tried enough by impregnating his wife, while a mother believes that carrying the pregnancy, delivering and nursing the baby till he/she is able to run around is enough. How wrong! Homosexuality, cultism, robbery and other anti social activities are not lone acts but take two or more.

Try to know your children/wards friends. It pays to do so. This is my candid advice to Parents or Guardians. Invest in the education of all your children and wards irrespective of their sexes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or girl, you have to realize that the female as well as the male child, has equal rights to education.

Support your children/wards while they are still in school and remember to also come up with words of encouragement once in a while, that will convince your child that you are not just paying fees or providing the necessary things but you are also genuinely concerned with the progress he or she is making in school or life. It’s also of great importance that your children and wards are brought up in a godly way.

🎲 CONCLUSION

Youths should avoid this attitude of bandwagonism. A situation whereby they want to follow the crowd and do whatever they are doing just because the crowd is doing it, and not because they want to do it. There is need for you to weigh your values; you have to understand the things that can enrich your life academically, spiritually and so on as well as the things that can destroy you.

Peer pressure is something that will come your way daily so there is need to occupy yourself with positive things, responsible people. When you occupy your time with quality activities, your brain with quality literature, believing in yourself and knowing that if you lose some set of friends because of good moral justification, you are gaining and not losing.

Thanks for reading…

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