Homeschooling Teen

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Honest Advice with Sugar and Spice: Peer Pressure

By Olyvea and Ethan

Olyvea Pancerella and Ethan Faulkes answer questions on homeschooling, dating, and life in general. Olyvea says, “One of the most unique things we can contribute is male and female perspectives on questions and ideas.” Send them your questions at polyvea@gmail.com.

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Question #1

Hi,

I’m in relationship with this boy, but we’re not dating, but he is my boyfriend. Some of our friends think we should break up, but I don’t want to. His guy friends keep on telling me this and I don’t want to tell them to just shut up, but I want them to stop saying it, because I really like this guy.

Olyvea,

Hi, let me make sure I got this straight. You’re in a relationship with this guy, but you don’t go on dates? Is that what you mean? Why are his friends telling you guys to break up? Does he treat you badly? I would try to think about why they’re saying this or if they are just being immature. Sometimes people can see something that you can’t when you’re in a relationship. Think about it and try to decide if they have your best interest in mind. That being said sometimes people, especially teenagers, can be very immature. They could just be telling you this to tease you because they know it makes you mad. Try to honestly and objectively think about what they are saying and why. After you’ve thought about it if you decide what they are saying doesn’t hold water then try to ask them, nicely, to stop saying that. Try to nicely say that you like him and that’s all that matters. You have to put up with him, they don’t.

Ethan,

I agree with you to a point. Sometimes friends see things a little clearer than you, but I think 9 times out of 10 they are just putting pressure on the relationship. Friends can put pressure on a lot of relationships, platonic or otherwise. If they are just teasing you I would suggest ignoring it. They will get bored and move on after awhile. If you really feel the need to say something then I would suggest asking him to deal with his friends. Generally it’s best if you deal with your friends and ask him to deal with his. Just tell him that his friends saying these things is putting stress on your relationship and he needs to tell them to stop. Think of it this way: Wouldn’t you rather it if he went to you instead of telling your friends what to do?

Question #2

Hi,

I’m in 11th grade and I’m homeschooled, but I wasn’t until 9th grade. So, I still have a lot of my school friends. Well, last night I went to a party. My parents didn’t mind that I went as long as there was adults there, which there was. It was supposed to be a small birthday get-together. So, I was pretty caught off guard when even though the parents were there upstairs, there was also alcohol there. I don’t know if the parents approved of the drinking or if they are just totally oblivious and didn’t know. I didn’t drink or anything, but I also wasn’t sure how to handle it without making a spectacle. Any suggestions in case something like this happens again?

Thanks,

Hanna

Olyvea,

Hi, Hanna, good job on not drinking. You definitely handled that correctly. I honestly suggest if something like that happens again make up an excuse and leave. Just because you aren’t drinking doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to stay. You don’t have to say it’s because of the alcohol. You can say you have a headache or you had other plans. Also Remember that there is no shame in saying you want to leave because of the alcohol. If you get caught drinking as a minor that’s going to haunt you for a long time. It’s not shameful for you to say you simply do not want to be caught up in that mess.

Ethan,

I completely agree. If something like that happens again you should leave. Depending on where you live drinking as a minor is a serious offense. I would probably take the more direct route of saying “I just don’t drink yet and I don’t want to be here while you do.” rather than making up another excuse to leave, but that’s just me. No matter how you do it, you should definitely find a way to get out of there. Even if it means you have to call your parents for a ride. I don’t know your parents, but most parents won’t be mad at you for taking the responsible route and leaving a party when it gets too wild.

Question #3

Hi, Olyvea and Ethan,

I’ve been having this issue with my friends. You see, they all have had a lot of boyfriends and I’ve never had a boyfriend. They think I’m inexperienced and bad with boys, and they think its their job to fix that. They keep asking to set me up with different guys, but I keep declining. I’m not going to lie, I am curious about the whole boyfriend thing. I mean it’s always shoved in your face how great it is, but I know I shouldn’t get into a relationship just because society and friends tell me too. So, how do I nicely tell my friends that I’ll get a boyfriend in my own time and it’s really OK that I don’t have one?

much thanks,

Paige.

Olyvea,

Hey, Paige, I’ve been in similar situations. I’ve had friends try to set me up and it almost never goes well. When you do find someone you really like I think it just happens. When you get friends involved things get too complicated. It’s good that you are secure enough with yourself that you don’t feel the need to rush out and get into a relationship with the first boy you find. I think the easiest way to deal with your friends is to say something like you don’t want or need a boyfriend right now. If it does happen with someone, great, but you’re not looking for it. High school is a time for fun and friends and you just don’t want to be tied down with a relationship right now.

Ethan,

I’ve actually had a problem similar to this as well. My male friends always think they need to find me a girlfriend. I think it’s very common that if people don’t fit into the social “norm” other people tend to feel uncomfortable that you did something different. Because of that they try to set you up and make you fit into what they consider “normal.” I think the easiest way to deal with them is to tell them what you told us. That it’s really OK that you don’t have a boyfriend right now and they don’t have to fix that.

Now, what all these questions have on thing in common: peer pressure. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Pressure to make the grades, don’t make the grades, drink, don’t drink, swear, don’t swear, have a relationship, don’t have a relationship. The list goes on. Peer pressure is something that follows us throughout our lives. I believe you must listen to yourself and what you hold true. Because no matter what you do, which side you take there will always be another side telling you it was wrong.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

Proverbs 1:10 ESV

My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.

Until next time,

Olyvea and Ethan.

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Olyvea Pancerella and Ethan Faulkes are both 16 and both going into 11th grade. Olyvea has been homeschooled since first grade and Ethan has been homeschooled since third grade. Email any questions to: polyvea@gmail.com

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