Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Positive peer pressure
“He that walks with wise persons becomes wise” –Prv. 13:20
Peer pressure can be positive and negative. Sometimes parents, in an effort to shield their teen from negative influence, can “over-shield” them from positive peer pressure.
I’m not sure if you saw this headline in the sports section last week, but it’s worth reading:
Rangers celebrate ALDS title with ginger ale; Hamilton: 'It meant a lot'
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -When the Rangers clinched the American League West in Oakland, All-Star Josh Hamilton remained in the training room to avoid the alcohol bath in the postgame celebration.
After Tuesday night's 5-1 American League Division Series-clinching victory, Hamilton was in the center of the action.
Left-hander C.J. Wilson and equipment manager Richard "Hoggy" Price supplied the team with bottles of ginger ale. The team waited for Hamilton to hit the clubhouse door and then doused him with the soft drink.
Being part of the postgame festivities meant everything to Hamilton, who battled alcohol and substance-abuse problems.
"It says a lot about my teammates," he said, "them understanding the sensitivity of my situation and not wanting to send the wrong message to other people out there."
Hamilton celebrated with his teammates for a few minutes then left the clubhouse when beer and champagne showers started.
He did interviews in the hallway and reveled in the team's first playoff series win.
"Obviously this is something we've never done before," he said. "To be a part of a team that's done that in Texas is a privilege. To do it with these guys is a privilege. Hopefully we're not done.
Sure, negative peer pressure can send teens (and baseball players) in bad directions, but positive pressure can send them in positive directions too. Sometimes we underestimate the ability of teens to encourage and build up others.
I love the story of the kid that had been going through chemo for cancer and was nervous to go to school because of his baldhead from the treatments. When he entered the classroom, he looked up to see all his boy classmates with shaven heads. They had shaved their heads so he wouldn't feel embarrassed.
Encourage your kids to build up and encourage others. Better yet, model positive peer pressure for kids. Let them see you build up your spouse. Let them experience you building them up.
Be sure to pressure those you love to be positive, even if that means drinking ginger ale!
By Eric Joseph Staples ©